Four-time World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea has expressed his disappointment for Ten Kate racing after the squad declared themselves bankrupt after being ditched by Honda earlier this month.
The Dutch effort claim they were told their services were no longer required just days before the link up between Moriwaki Racing, HRC and the Althea team was announced at the EICMA show.
With such little time before the 2019 season kicks off in February, they have had no choice but to declare bankruptcy, bringing the end to a long era that saw the squad field Honda in the world series since 2004.
Rea graduated from BSB to the world stage with Ten Kate Honda in the Supersport class in 2008, finishing second before moving into the Superbike class in 2009.
He took 15 wins for Honda and finished third in the championship in 2014 before moving to Kawasaki in 2015.
The new HRC-backed effort will field Leon Camier and Ryuichi Kiyonari.
“I think that the HRC decision is good for WorldSBK but I’m disappointed for Ten Kate,” Rea said in Jerez.
“I feel really bad for the team because when Honda undervalued WorldSBK and didn’t support the championship it was Ten Kate that stepped up. They sourced engine development with Cosworth and developed their electronics strategies and invested a lot in swingarm and chassis developments. That’s hard for the team to accept because when HRC decide to play suddenly Ten Kate get left aside. When I was there I was always keen to say it was a private team. I spent a lot of time there and the team has a soft spot in my heart.”