Despite entrusting its 2013 World Supersport campaign to a pair of series rookies, multiple series champions Ten Kate Racing proved to be amongst the front runners during pre-season testing at Jerez this week, with Michael van der Mark particularly impressing to end up third quickest.
Racing under the Pata Honda banner, in a nod to the title sponsor that will also back its World Superbike effort, the team has signed reigning Superstock 600 champion van der Mark and ex-WSBK rider Lorenzo Zanetti to front its effort.
However, despite their relative lack of experience on the Honda CBR600RR, van der Mark and Zanetti were immediately up to speed during testing at Jerez, the former going third fastest and the latter coming in sixth best.
It was another good test for me,” said Dutchman van der Mark. “I am really enjoying the bike and getting used to the differences between it and the stock CBR600RR that I rode last season. The track conditions were not great and the circuit was not fully dry until around lunchtime on the second day.
“I was able to put in a full race simulation and improved the consistency of my lap times for a better result. Now I am getting really excited about the trip to Australia – the Phillip Island circuit looks amazing and I cannot wait to ride there.”
Zanetti, who raced a Pata-backed Ducati in the World Superbike Championship last season, was also pleased with his progress on the Supersport machine.
“These two days were a good opportunity for me to spend more time on the bike and to develop the new working relationship with the team. I am happy to say that both are working well – I am getting a better feeling with the bike and I was able to improve my lap time from the last test here.
“There is still a lot of work to do, so I am looking forward to some more testing time at Phillip Island before the first race.”