Jonathan Rea has quelled speculation he will race elsewhere in the 2011 World Superbike Championship by confirming he will see out the second season of his two-year deal with Ten Kate Honda
Rea penned a two-year contract with the leading Honda team towards the end of 2009, but recent rumours had suggested he could land elsewhere for next season.
Nonetheless, the Northern Irishman will stay where he is for 2011 having enjoyed a strong end to the 2010 season, one that has seen him finish no lower than second in the last six races, which coupled to his two wins at Assen earlier in the year has all but confirmed him in third position overall.
While Rea hints that he looked elsewhere for 2011, he concludes that continuity is crucial for him if he wants to step up and challenge for next year's title.
“I'm really happy to be staying with this fantastic team for another season. We're all pulling in the same direction and we're all really excited about the prospects for the Honda CBR1000RR.
“Even though I'm still only 23, the team has taught me an enormous amount about world championship racing, both on the track and off it and I've become a regular race winner.
"To become a championship winner, I recognise that I need continuity and that's what I've got now. It's no secret that my ultimate ambition is to compete in GPs but I'll still only be 24 next season so I'm really happy to aim for the World Superbike title in 2011 and then hopefully take the next step forward after that within the Honda family.”
Team manager Ronald ten Kate was also pleased to be retaining Rea, who has notched up 18 podiums in less than two years with the team.
“It's good to see a rider of Jonathan's calibre spend his entire career to date with the Honda family. At the beginning of this agreement, it was always the intention of the rider, the team and Honda to stay together and we are very happy to see that realised now.
“Jonathan joined us in Supersport ranks in 2008 and his raw talent has combined with a great attitude and personality to turn him into a race winner. Next year, our only aim will be to turn that race winner into a championship winner.”
Rea joined Ten Kate Honda in 2008, finishing runner-up in the World Supersport Championship before graduating to Superbikes with the Dutch-based team. He went on to win two races in his rookie season on the way to fifth overall.