Red Bull Honda team manager Ronald ten Kate is hopeful his new-look rider line-up can make steps forward at Jerez after “a positive weekend at Magny-Cours” last time out.

The factory Honda heads to Jerez with another rider tweak as Takumi Takahashi returns to action in place of Jake Gagne as the planned replacement rider for the injured Stefan Bradl. The Japanese rider joins alongside Davide Giugliano who raced for Red Bull Honda at the Lausitzring and Magny-Cours rounds and looks set to retain his place for the final two rounds at Jerez and Losail.

With a rejigged rider line-up, ten Kate is confident of a stronger showing at Jerez with Giugliano gaining consistency from Magny-Cours, where he claimed two strong points finishes, while Takahashi heads to a circuit he is familiar with thanks to previous testing outings unlike his World Superbike debut at Portimao.

“After a positive weekend at Magny-Cours we are looking forward to Jerez, where we are hoping to maintain the upward trend and aim for some good results,” ten Kate said. “For Davide it means two consecutive race weekends on the bike which will be a big help.

“Takahashi knows his way around Jerez, so this will help him aim for better results than he had Portimão where everything – the track, bike, tyres and the championship – was completely new for him.”