ten Kate disappointed with team's form

Ten Kate Honda's difficult start to the 2009 World Superbike season continued at Valencia, with a best of sixth place prompting team manager Ronald ten Kate to claim there are 'no excuses' for their current performance.

After patchy results at Phillip Island and Losail, the team had high hopes of challenging for victory in Spain following a strong showing last season.

However, while home favourite Carlos Checa and Jonathan Rea both reached the final segment of Superpole in qualifying, neither featured at the front of the field in the races.

Checa proved the team's leading representative with sixth position in second race, although an off in the first race when he clipped a white line under braking ensured it was a weekend of mixed feelings.

“Race one was a little bit better than race two, but still not where we want to be,” he said. “In the first race, my start was not so good and as I approached the final turn behind Tom Sykes, I hit the white line during braking. There was no grip so I had no alternative but to go into the gravel. I tried to get some data from the tyre, but it wouldn't let me go fast enough to learn anything so I pulled in.

“My start in race two put me in a better position for braking into the first turn, but when the race settled down I found that I couldn't open the throttle with the bike on its side. I was able to make up some places and sometimes racing here at Valencia is enough motivation but it wasn't our day today.”

Rea, meanwhile, didn't even reach the end of the opening lap in the first race when he was nudged by a rival at turn four and pushed off the circuit. With no race data to call upon for the second event, Rea gradually dropped down the order to an eventual 13th position.

“I got a pretty good start in race one and had the bike cranked right over coming out of the first right-hander. The next thing I knew I was up in the air, hanging on to the bike but missing the seat when I landed. And that was that.

“We didn't really have any information to change anything for race two but it wasn't great. It's been a tough few days so all I can do is thank my team for all their hard work this weekend and say that we'll re-group for Assen and try to get some decent results for the team's home race.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Kiyonari, Qatar WSBK 2009
Kiyonari, Qatar WSBK 2009
Kiyonari, Qatar WSBK 2009
Kiyonari, Qatar WSBK 2009
Rea, Spanish WSBK 2009
Rea, Spanish WSBK 2009
Rea, Spanish WSBK 2009
Rea, Spanish WSBK 2009
Rea, Spanish WSBK 2009
Checa, Ronald Ten Kate, Qatar WSBK 2009
Villicum Circuit, Argentina, World Superbikes [Credit: WorldSBK]
Noderer, SSP300 Race, Aragon WSBK
De La Vega, SSP300 Race, Aragon WSBK
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Noderer, SSP300 Race, Aragon WSBK
Noderer, SSP300 Race, Aragon WSBK

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roadrash - Unregistered

April 07, 2009 12:30 PM

Ok here goes ten kate are not a factory team there bikes are taken out of the showroom in there honda dealers in holland and they work on them themselfs they get input from HRC thats all so they are techinally a privateer team kiyo is a different story he is backed by hrc and so his bike is slighty different to checa's and rea's Xerox Ducati Alstare Suzukis Aprilla Bmw and Yamaha are full factory bikes hope this helps abit :)

Sick Cylinder - Unregistered

April 08, 2009 6:36 AM

Roadrash - I don't think you were wrong - virtually everyone refers to TK as the factory Honda team and they are the nearest thing to being a factory team that Honda have in WSB - Honda have chosen to approach WSB differently to the other companies. The availability of the HRC kits enables more teams to compete on Hondas in WSB and BSB, but if they just run the kit they aren't competitive. Re SS Simon Buckmaster said on Eurosport that they ran the 2009 engine in the 2008 chassis and changed to the new chassis at the last round. TK didn't run their 2009 bikes till the last round. TK often seem late getting their bikes, which may be another reason they do less winter testing.

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