Spaniard Ruben Xaus has signed for the Ten Kate Honda team to contest the 2011 Superbike World Championship.
In a shock decision by the Dutch-based team, Xaus’ career has been given a lifeline following two lackluster seasons with the factory BMW Motorrad team alongside Australia’s Troy Corser.
Xaus will now join Irishman Jonathan Rea in the Ten Kate outfit, and he’s excited for the new season after securing the ride late in the off-season.
“It’s difficult for me describe how happy I am that I will ride with the Ten Kate Honda team next season,” 32-year-old Xaus said.
“For many years I have admired the passion and dedication that they bring to World Superbikes and I believe that they capture the essence of the championship.
“They run a successful Honda dealership in Holland and with the support of Honda Europe they manage a team that has some of the most skilled tuners and engineers. They have shown with all their world titles that they have the right blend of skill and desire.
“I know that I am capable of more SBK wins and I will bring all my racing experience, gained on many different types of machine, to help achieve more success with the Ten Kate Honda team.
“I would like to thank Gerrit, Ronald and all the guys Honda for the faith that they have shown in me and in my potential. Istill have a lot of things I want to do in World Superbikes and I believe this team will allow me to achieve what we all aim for.
“It will begin with my first test with my new team at the end of this month and I cannot wait to start work.”
Team owner and manager Ronald ten Kate commented to the surprise decision, believed to have come after Englishman James Toseland signed for BMW Motorrad Italy.
“We are delighted that Ruben Xaus will partner Jonathan Rea in the Ten Kate Honda team for 2011,” ten Kate said. “Ruben will bring to the team a very high level of experience in World Superbikes – experience that he has translated into many podiums and 11 race victories.
“We have raced against him for many years now, and we have seen how competitive he can be. We believe that we can harness Ruben’s experience and unleash the potential that he so clearly has for many more good performances.
“We have a busy winter schedule ahead of us during which we will develop further the Honda CBR1000RR with Jonathan and Ruben so that we are ready to go in Australia next year.”
Phillip Island’s season opener will mark Xaus’ 200th WSBK start, having 11 victories in the category to his credit alongside 35 podiums.