As expected, former Moto2 champion and current Aprilia MotoGP rider Stefan Bradl has been officially confirmed as switching to the World Superbike Championship, with Honda, in 2017.

The German will ride for the factory-supported Ten Kate team, alongside former MotoGP champion Nicky Hayden, who remains at the squad for a second season.

Bradl thus replaces Dutchman Michael VD Mark, who is set to join Crescent Yamaha.

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'The Honda WorldSBK Team would like to thank Michael van der Mark for his outstanding efforts and [WSS] title-winning contribution during his tenure as a Honda rider. The team will maintain its unconditional support for Michael for the remainder of the season, with the goal of achieving the best possible results', said a Honda statement.

Due to changes in the WorldSBK rules, Honda needs a new or at least upgraded version of its Fireblade for 2017.