Reigning World Supersport Champion to step up in 2015.
Honda’s new World Supersport Champion Michael van der Mark has signed a two-year agreement to race with the Pata Honda team in the Superbike World Championship for 2015 and 2016.
The 21-year-old will ride the Pata Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP from next season, as his signing announcement came just days after it was confirmed on Friday that Pata will be with Honda for further two years in WSBK.
“I’m really, really happy with this next step,” van der Mark said. “It’s been going in two-year stages for me with the team, so this next stage in World Superbikes is fantastic and really exciting. It’s a good and safe place to be with Honda for 2015 and 2016.
“I’ve had a great experience with this team for the last two years and there was never really any question that I would be going anywhere else. World Superbikes in 2015 is going to be really interesting – there are new technical regulations and I think there will be a few surprises next year.
“Although the electronics will be a big change for me, I have shown that I can ride a superbike and now I really can’t wait to get started.”
Although he has raced on Honda’s CBR600RR for four years, winning the European Superstock 600 Championship in 2012 before stepping up to World Supersport last season, van der Mark is no stranger to Honda’s 1000cc flagship sportsbike.
The Dutch rider has won the last two editions of the prestigious Suzuka 8-hours World Endurance championship race in Japan, impressing many with his outright pace on the larger machine.
Van der Mark still has two rounds remaining in this year’s World Supersport championship at Magny-Cours, France, on 5 October and at Losail in Qatar on 2 November.
However, the team’s testing schedule and the calendar for the 2015 World Superbike championship are yet to be announced.