Team Ten Kate continues to hope. The Dutch squad, ruled out already months ago, is still keen to compete in 2021, in a SBK championship that could see a sixth Yamaha R1 M on the grid, should things work out and the rumours prove correct.
Riding the blue four-cylinders are Crescent duo Toprak Razgatlioglui and Andrea Locatelli, GRT riders Garrett Gerloff and Kohta Nozane, and Frenchman Christophe Ponsson, who lines up in Gil Motosport colours.
And so with whom would Ten Kate compete? Having lost Loris Baz, who moves Stateside, Ronald and Gerrit are working to find the funds they need to continue their Superbike project, a figure rumoured to be around 2,500,000 euro. Why so much, given that other teams spend less than half that?
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One of the aspects that has a bearing relates to the salary of any rider they might field. An expert rider like Loris Baz would have wanted to be suitably paid, and we can’t exactly argue with that.
The Frenchman has won SBK races, held his own in MotoGP for four seasons and, in 2020, was able to reach the podium on four occasions, despite his R1 not being a factory model. But at almost 28, Baz has opted for a change of air.
And so how will the Dutch managers raise said funds? They need a sponsor, or a rider who comes with a dowry. Meaning a sponsor. Meaning money. And which riders are still available, of those who already know the championship? Leandro Mercado, the Argentinian who has been linked to Honda MIE. "Tati" would at least have the support of Motul, in favour of both the rider and an event at San Juan del Villicum.
Translated by Heather Watson