The Castrol Honda name has returned to the winners' circle for the first time since 2002 after Jonathan Rea claimed his first World Superbike Championship win of the season at Assen.
The iconic brand, which makes a return to Honda as a title backer this season after almost a decade away, has not tasted success since Colin Edwards's decisive victory at Imola nine years ago.
Nonetheless, Rea was in fine form as he pushed his way to the front of the opening race, before holding Max Biaggi
at arm's length to claim a third career win at Assen and a seventh WSBK victory overall.
Also a win for Ten Kate Racing on home soil, Rea was delighted to be kick-starting his title campaign following a difficult start to the season.
“First and foremost, I'm really proud to give the famous Castrol Honda name the first victory on its comeback to this championship. We spent all weekend developing the bike for the races, and that strategy paid off. I got a good start but couldn't decide whether to let Max past and let him dictate the pace. In the end I made the right decision to stay in front and take the win.
Though he didn't have the pace to match Carlos Checa
and Biaggi in race two, Rea was pleased to come away with a third place finish to go with his win.
“We had to dig deep in race two because I got held up for a while and the front guys got away. I was matching their lap times but we ran into some tyre problems later in the race. I'm really happy with the weekend though, and really grateful to everyone who has helped to get me here – it's been a long hard winter coming back from injury.
“The team has worked really well and that's exactly the right sort of confidence and momentum that we need to take to the next races. I'm happy to be back where I belong, in the winners' circle, and I look forward to trying to get more wins for the team.”
Rea moves up to fourth in the standings, just ten points behind second place Biaggi and 53 points behind series leader Checa.