Following weeks of speculation, HANNspree Ten Kate Honda is pleased to announce its full rider line-up for the 2008 World Superbike and Supersport Championships.
The Netherlands-based team will run a three-man squad in the Superbike class to include MotoGP contender Carlos Checa, current World Supersport Champion Kenan Sofuoglu and defending British Superbike Champion Ryuichi Kiyonari.
Checa has had a consistently successful career in the 250cc, 500cc and MotoGP championships. The Spaniard has 24 podium finishes under his belt and hopes to add to this tally in the World Superbike series.
Sofuoglu has already proved his riding talent by claiming the 2007 World Supersport crown. The Turkish rider had his first taste of victory on the Honda CBR1000RR when he clinched a race win in the Dutch Superbike Championship at Assen in September.
Kiyonari is already more than familiar with the 1000cc machine, having ridden for the factory-supported HM Plant Honda team in the British Superbike Championship since 2005. The 2006 champion is leading this year's series with one round remaining.
The 2008 HANNspree Ten Kate Honda World Supersport team will consist of Australian rider Andrew Pitt and current British Superbike star Jonathan Rea.
Former World Supersport Champion Pitt will return to the series with the aim of reclaiming the title and securing a seventh consecutive Supersport win for Ten Kate Honda.
Ulsterman Rea will join HANNspree Ten Kate Honda from the British Superbike Championship - where he is the youngest ever rider to secure a pole position, podium and race win.
Following the incredible feat of winning the 2007 World Superbike and Supersport Championships, HANNspree has made the decision to renew its title sponsorship deal with Ten Kate Honda until 2010. With such impressive talent on board, HANNspree Ten Kate Honda looks set for a successful 2008 season.
Ronald ten Kate - Team Manager
"After such a successful 2007 season, we wanted to build a team that brings the same kind of success for 2008 and beyond. This is why we have chosen to go with some very young riders in both the Superbike and Supersport class. We are confident that we can do well in developing these riders. We are really happy that after one year working with HANNspree they are confident enough in the team's work and ability to renew the contract for three years. We share the same goals and ambitions and are very much looking forward to 2008."
Fabio Scatola - Vice President of HANNspree Europe
"I am pleased that we have such great talent signed up for 2008. We have had an incredible first year with Ten Kate Honda and we are looking forward to achieving similar success in the years to come."