Reigning World Superbike Champion Sylvain Guintoli says bringing the #1 plate to PATA Honda is a 'big deal' as he prepares to defend his title with a new team.

Guintoli clinched the 2014 title riding an Aprilia RSV4 in a thrilling final round scrap with Tom Sykes, but will attempt to defend his crown in 2015 aboard a Honda CBR1000RR after moving to the Ten Kate Racing outfit.

Looking to lead Honda to its first WSBK title since 2007, Guintoli says he is proud to be bringing the #1 plate to a team that he says wants to win another championship 'really badly'.

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"Bringing the number one plate to a new manufacturer is a big deal, really, because it doesn't happen very often," he said. "It's symbolic for me, too, because I'll be going for the title again on a different bike, the Honda CBR. I'll definitely be wearing the number one with pride this year. But I'm motivated by the challenge and I've found a team that also wants it really badly. The bike has changed quite a bit over the winter and we have new regulations.

"The team has worked hard and we know it's going to be a big challenge, but that's what makes it interesting! The 2015 engine is quite close to last year's specification and, if anything, is a bit smoother, which is good news for us because, built as standard, it suits the new rules.

"We're still working on a few things like weight distribution and geometry but the bike is already quite different to last year. I'm very pleased with the work that has been done over the winter. There is still more work to be done, but the team is a big asset; you can feel the power of Honda, and it feels good."

Meanwhile, 'rivalry' between Guintoli and his 2014 World Superbike foe Tom Sykes has already started with a touch of friendly banter on Twitter ahead of February's season opener in Australia.