The Winston Ten Kate Honda team today completed a three-day initial test at the Almeria circuit in southern Spain in preparation for this year's World Superbike and World Supersport championships.

As well as being the first time the four-man team has taken to the track in its new Winston colours, the Almeria test also represented the first opportunity to test Ten Kate's winter development of the Honda CBR1000RR and the new CBR600RR, which has been heavily revised for 2005.

Cold weather restricted testing time on both machines but Winston Ten Kate Honda team manager, Ronald ten Kate, declared himself happy with the three-day exercise.

"For the supersport team we have two new riders in Katsuaki Fujiwara and Sébastien Charpentier," he said. "We also have some new mechanics and, of course, the new CBR600RR. All these new ingredients are mixing well together already."

He continued: "We've worked hard on the CBR1000RR superbike over the winter, but it's been evolutionary, rather than revolutionary. Last year was a development year with Chris Vermeulen but we were competitive towards the end of the season. I think that Chris and now Karl Muggeridge, who tested in November, have found that the overall package has been improved in certain key areas.

"We now head for two more days testing at Valencia," concluded ten Kate, "where we already have some data on both bikes from last year. Hopefully the weather will be warmer and we will get a much clearer idea on how our preparations for the season are going."

Steve Booth

Winston Ten Kate Honda



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