WSBK »

ten Kate: Rea is a perfectionist – and we'll give him perfection

Castrol Honda team principal Ronald ten Kate assures that following a rocky period in 2010, Jonathan Rea is now 'happy as can be' inside the team heading into 2011 - and primed for World Superbike title success
Whilst acknowledging that as a self-confessed perfectionist, Jonathan Rea will never be satisfied 100 per cent of the time, Ronald ten Kate insists the Ulsterman is currently 'happy as can be' at Castrol Honda – and in Rubén Xaus, he contends that he has the ideal team-mate now too to enable him to achieve his goals.

To say that Rea was unhappy at Ten Kate at times during 2010 would be an understatement, with the 23-year-old 'riding on a knife-edge' far too often for his liking and finally losing sufficient patience with the frustratingly inconsistent and unpredictable nature of the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade as to look around at alternative options [see separate story – click here].

Ultimately, however, he pledged his continued commitment to the cause for a third consecutive campaign in the World Superbike Championship – to the evident delight of team principal ten Kate. This time around, the Dutchman assures, everything will be in-place for Rea to fulfil his objective of doing battle for the riders' crown.

“To have a guy like Jonny 100 per cent happy all the time is extremely difficult for any team in the world, because he's got very high standards and his ambitions are very, very high,” he mused, speaking to Crash.net. “He's also still young, so with [more] experience, let's say a more realistic view on things might be in prospect.

“We have spoken a lot, we've made some changes – not only to the bike, but also to the way we work as a team with him – and that's been going really well. He's now happy as can be and he knows we have full confidence and trust in him, which is important, so I really think we are looking forward to a strong season together.”

Alongside Rea will be BMW Motorrad refugee Xaus, a man who has finished as runner-up in the WSBK title chase before and also competed in MotoGP, but who has been written off by some as a spent force following a couple of off-colour campaigns that yielded not so much as a single podium as he struggled to get a handle on the fearsomely-powerful S1000RR. Dismiss the Spaniard at your peril, ten Kate warns.

“I'm very confident he will do well,” he underlined. “We looked long and thoroughly at which rider to get on the bike for this year, and we wanted to have a guy with the same approach and same riding style as Jonathan has – fully-committed, quite aggressive and quite hard and quite physical on the bike – to make sure that he could help Jonathan, not so much with the set-up of the bike but with testing individual parts and even tyres throughout the weekend.

“From the first test that we did at Portimão with Rubén, for sure it showed that the decision is working out. We can take from the data that he has the same style on the bike, and even in some parts of the track he was already a wee bit quicker than Jonny – though having said that, Jonny was not up to 100 per cent physical strength at that point.

“You could immediately see some sort of bonding going on. Riders don't necessarily have to be friends within a garage – they can just be colleagues – but we don't like to see a wall in-between, and when I saw the relationship developing there and then between Jonny and Rubén, it was clear to me that it's a very exciting pairing for this year.”



by Russell Atkins



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Rea, Portuguese January WSBK Test 2011
Rea, Portuguese January WSBK Test 2011
Jonathan Rea, 2011 Castrol Honda WSBK team launch [pic credit: Castrol Honda]
Xaus, Portuguese January WSBK Test 2011
Xaus, Portuguese January WSBK Test 2011
Jonathan Rea and Ruben Xaus, 2011 Castrol Honda WSBK team launch [pic credit: Ian Hopgood Photography]
Xaus, Ronald Ten Kate, Portuguese January WSBK Test 2011
Ronald ten Kate, 2011 Castrol Honda WSBK team launch [pic credit: Ian Hopgood Photography]
Ronald ten Kate, 2011 Castrol Honda WSBK team launch [pic credit: Ian Hopgood Photography]
Ronald ten Kate, Jonathan Rea and Ruben Xaus, 2011 Castrol Honda WSBK team launch [pic credit: Ian Hopgood Photography]
Honda Musashi Harc Pro - Takahashi, Haslam and Van Der Mark - win 2014 Suzuka 8 Hours (Pic: David Reygondeau).
Rea, Suzuki 8 hours, July 2014
Rea, Suzuki 8 hours, July 2014
Rea, Suzuki 8 hours, July 2014
Rea, Suzuki 8 hours, July 2014
Rea, Suzuki 8 hours, July 2014
Lorenzo, Rea, Akiyoshi, Suzuki 8 hours, July 2014
Rea, Suzuki 8 hours, July 2014

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


dusty tracks - Unregistered

January 27, 2011 5:30 PM

what a ridiculous statement. He just needs to beat the other riders on the day. Conditions are always changing so lap times will be different on different days. Think before you write pcxmac.

Sick Cylinder - Unregistered

January 28, 2011 9:45 AM

In the article Ronald says why he employs him We looked long and thoroughly at which rider to get on the bike for this year and we wanted to have a guy with the same approach and same riding style as Jonathan has to make sure that he could help Jonathan not so much with the set-up of the bike but with testing individual parts and even tyres throughout the weekend. This team is geared around delivering results for Honda with Rea, the second rider is cast in a supporting role.



© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.