Makoto Tamada has set himself lofty targets ahead of the 2010 World Superbike season by insisting he can win races now that he has been reunited with Honda.
Former factory Kawasaki rider Tamada earned himself a stay of execution in World Superbikes this week after being confirmed as joining Pro Ride SBK, a deal which will see him revive his relationship with Honda for the first time in four years.
While Tamada remains one of the few riders to have won races in both World Superbikes and in MotoGP, his move to Kawasaki's WSBK effort has seen him classified as the lowest of the manufacturer-backed riders for the past two seasons.
However, despite the decision to join a privateer team for 2010, Tamada is delighted to be back within the Honda family.
Indeed, he even goes as far to say that he can return to the kind of form that saw him win three World Superbike races and two MotoGP races for the manufacturer between 2001 and 2004.
“As much as I am excited to work with Marco Nicotari [team manager],” he mused. “I am thrilled to be back with Honda. I have always been a “Honda” rider. I have not performed at my best potential since I left Honda.
“This year, I plan to be competitive, and show everyone that Makoto Tamada
is still very competitive. I thank Honda and Marco for believing in me and I plan to repay them with a couple of wins this year.”
Tamada and Pro Ride will not be present at this week's Portimao pre-season tests.