Ten Kate Honda have confirmed that Kenan Sofuoglu will step down to the World Supersport Championship in 2009 to join Andrew Pitt in what is a formidable line-up.
Sofuoglu swaps positions with Jonathan Rea, who graduates to the Superbike team after a successful maiden season of Supersports that has delivered three wins and a shot of the title with only two races remaining.
Sofuoglu, meanwhile, moves back to the series after a dismal maiden year of Superbike racing, one that has been stymied by personal and physical problems.
The Turk had the distinction of winning a record-breaking number of Supersport races in one season when he graduated to the 2007 title winning team, but having been overshadowed by team-mate Carlos Checa and Ryuichi Kiyonari, he has only managed a best result of tenth this year.
Nevertheless, the Ten Kate team have given him the chance to re-establish some confidence by offering him a Supersport ride, a move Sofuoglu was happy with.
“It's been a tough season for me, both on the track and definitely off it. I'm very happy with the Ten Kate team, though, and I'm delighted to be riding the CBR600RR with them again next year. I will give 100% to win back the title that I won with the team last season."
Despite interest from Superbike teams, Pitt will remain where he is in 2009 after what is likely to be a title winning first season with Ten Kate
"After the couple of rides I had for the team last year, it was good to get a solid offer for this season and I've felt comfortable here from the start. With the amount of titles won by Ten Kate over the years, it was always going to be a strong package and I'm happy that we're still fighting for this year's championship.
“As for next season, I think we'll be even stronger – we've got a new bike to work with and, hopefully, I'll have a title to defend."
Between them, Sofuoglu and Pitt have won 14 Supersport races with Ten Kate Honda.