Jonathan Rea will ride the Hannspree Ten Kate Honda Superbike in WSB in 2009 after signing a new three year deal.
Rea signed late on Saturday night at Vallelunga and then went out on Sunday to stake his claim for the World Supersport crown with a stunning flag to flag victory to close to within 11 points of series leader and team-mate Andrew Pitt.
Speaking exclusively to MCN, Rea said:
“I signed at 10.45pm on Saturday night and straight away breathed a sigh of relief. I’ve got massive respect for the team and I’m honoured to be in Honda’s official WSB squad.”
“WSB is so strong and it will be even harder next year. There are three guys that win regularly, they are the elite and to beat any one of those I’m going to have to be on it. The good thing is that this team knows how to do it and I just want to get out there and do a really good job.”
After speculation regarding the rest of the teams line up, Ten Kate are likely to retain their current five riders, but in slightly different positions.
Rea is on target to join former HMPlant Honda BSB team-mate Ryuichi Kiyonari and Spaniard Carlos Checa on Superbikes whilst World Supersport championship leader Andrew Pitt looks set to stay on a 600. Rea’s move to WSB will most probably see Turkish rider Kenan Sofuoglu leave Superbikes to return to World Supersport.
Sofuoglu dominated the World Supersport championship in 2007 and his likely return to the class with Pitt will make for a formidable partnership in 2009.
Read the full details of Jonathan Rea’s WSB signing in MCN out on Wednesday 24th September.