WSB: Former Rea crew chief announced as Honda WorldSBK boss

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Honda Motor Europe has confirmed Chris Pike as its new WorldSBK Operations Manager, as revealed by MCN on Thursday morning.

Pike rejoins the team he last worked with between 2012-2014, then serving as crew chief to Jonathan Rea before the Northern Irishman switched to Kawasaki.

As confirmed in a Honda press release, Pike takes the job vacated last month by Marco Chini. He will manage Honda’s operational and technical support in World Superbikes, essentially acting as the linchpin between Honda Motor Europe and the Ten Kate and TripleM teams.

“I am very happy to be stepping up to the role of Honda Motor Europe’s Operations Manager in World Superbike; a championship that holds many good memories for me,” Pike says. “Although it is a return to a championship I know very well, this a fresh, new challenge for me and I’m looking forward to applying all that I’ve learned over the years to help Honda be a force in this very competitive series.”

As well as previously working in WorldSBK, Pike has also collaborated with Honda in MotoGP, BSB and the World Endurance Championship. He was involved in WorldSBK in its inaugural season of 1988 and contributed to Honda’s title win with John Kocinski in 1997 plus those of Colin Edwards in 2000 and 2002.

Pike will work closely with Honda Motor Europe’s Head of Motorsport, Robert Watherston, who has temporarily headed up the WorldSBK project in the interim period following the departure of Marco Chini.

“Chris has been a part of the Honda Racing family for over 20 years and his vast and varied experience will be a real asset to our World Superbike operation,” Watherston adds in Thursday’s communique. “With Honda now having three CBR1000RR machines on the grid, expert oversight from both a technical and operational perspective is critical. In Chris I believe we have the ideal candidate to move this project forward strongly and help us achieve our goals.”

Honda has an all-new line-up for 2018 as Britain’s Leon Camier joins Ten Kate alongside American Jake Gagne. In the sister TripleM team, which has already tested with Honda’s new Magneti Marelli electronics, New Yorker PJ Jacobsen steps up to the premier class and brings race winning experience from World Supersport

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Greg Haines

By Greg Haines

Superbike reporter and Eurosport commentator