If the 2009 World Superbike Championship had started from the South African round, then Honda may have had reason to feel quite satisfied about its season.
Unfortunately for them, five events had been and gone and it was clear Honda wasn't going to be making it a three-way battle for the title alongside Yamaha and Ducati as per the pre-season predictions.
Of course, Ten Kate did eventually get its head around the 2009-specification CBR1000RR at the mid-season mark and while fifth in the overall standings wasn't the result Honda were exactly looking for, the season did at least set the foundation for the future with Jonathan Rea.
In terms of experience, Rea was Ten Kate's third-string rider in 2009, but the rapid Northern Irishman quickly went above and beyond to establish himself as the team leader. As such, when man and machine eventually began to gel from Kyalami onwards, he was the team's consistent front runner.
From a technical perspective, Ten Kate's breakthrough had a lot to do with the mid-season switch to Ohlins suspension, a move that revived their form and had them back on terms with the leaders by the conclusion of the season.
It means they have a sturdy platform from which to progress in 2010 – there should be no nasty surprises from the bike and Rea is evidently the man to revisit the successes of 2007.
With Rea's efforts shuffling the spotlight back to under-performing team-mates Carlos Checa
and Ryuichi Kiyonari, Ten Kate undergo some changes for 2010 by slimming from three riders to just two and poaching Max Neukirchner to ride its second bike.
Having looked very certain to stick with Suzuki in 2010, a curious sequence of events would see Neukirchner creep away from his contract towards the end of 2009 as team and rider clashed over his long-term fitness.
Neukirchner did skip the majority of the 2009 season with injury, but while differing opinions prompted Suzuki to stall on taking up their option on the German, Ten Kate swooped in snapped the two-time race winner up.