WSS: Ten Kate keen to keep title in Honda hands

Ten Kate Honda will hand over the number one plate for the first time in seven years at Portimao.
While their seven-year iron grip on the World Supersport Championship will be loosened when either Cal Crutchlow or Eugene Laverty are crowned the 2009 title winner at Portimao this weekend, Ten Kate still have one chance to contribute to a trophy by winning the manufacturers' crown for Honda.

Although the title battle between Crutchlow and Laverty has occupied the majority of the headlines this season, an even fiercer battle has been raging in the manufacturer standings, with Honda and Yamaha heading to the final round separated by just a single point.

A recent run of good form for the Dutch team, particularly from Kenan Sofuoglu, saw Honda eke ahead in the standings at Imola, but with barely anything to choose between them, the title decision will come down to the final race in Portugal.

The circuit is a happy hunting ground for Ten Kate though, the team scoring a 1-2 result last season with Sofuoglu marking his return to Supersport competition with a dominant victory, ahead of newly crowned champion Andrew Pitt.

While the circumstances of their title challenge is a little different this time around, both Soufolgu and Pitt are determined to make it seven-in-a-row for Honda.

“Since Magny-Cours, I have had a good rest back home with some light training, and now everything is perfect for the final race of the year. I know my main rivals have tested at Portimao recently, but I don't feel I need any more preparation.

“I know the circuit and I like it very much, especially after winning there last season. I also know my bike, which has improved so much in the last few races. We will look for more improvement this weekend and I know exactly what I need to do to help Honda win the title and for me to keep third in the championship.

“It's been a difficult season, for sure, but things have finally begun to work with the bike over the last few races,” Pitt added. “Portimao is a really nice track so it'll be good to get the CBR600RR working there, too. It hasn't gone our way at a lot of tracks this year but I'm glad that the championship won't be decided until this weekend.

“It means I can go into Sunday's race knowing that I'm still world champion and that I've still got the number one plate on the bike, which a few people may have forgotten. The whole team will be working as hard as ever to get a good result and hopefully bring home the manufacturer's title for Honda.”

Related Pictures

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Sofuoglu, French WSS Race 2009
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Sofuoglu, French WSS 2009
Sofuoglu, French WSS Race 2009
Sofuoglu, French WSS 2009
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Cluzel, Davies, Rea, Sofuoglu, Sykes, Krummenacher and Kyle Smith, FIM award winners, Qatar WSBK 2016
Sofuoglu, Tissot pole award winner, Qatar WSBK 2016
Sofuoglu receives his championship trophy at FIM awards, Qatar WSBK 2016
Sofuoglu, Qatar WSBK 2016
Cluzel, Sofuoglu and Krummenacher with FIM award medals ,Qatar WSBK 2016
Sofuoglu, Qatar WSBK 2016

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