WSBK >> Pata Honda confirms 2014 WSBK line-up

Pata Honda has confirmed an unchanged rider line-up for the 2014 World Superbike Championship season, with Jonathan Rea ending speculation about a possible move to MotoGP by re-signing alongside Leon Haslam.

Both riders have been the subject of speculation in recent weeks regarding their future whereabouts, but this announcement ahead of the final two rounds of the season makes Pata Honda the first team to confirm its full rider pairing for 2014.

For Rea, next season will represent his sixth consecutive year with the Ten Kate Racing-prepared outfit, his renewed deal coming after much speculation linking him to a move into the premier MotoGP class riding Honda`s forthcoming production racer.

Indeed, the Ulsterman reflects that speculation by admitting he had to consider his options for next season, but feels this is the right decision for him.

“It`s been a big decision that I`ve thought long and hard about because there were some other options to consider. However, at the end of the day it was an easy choice because of the faith and respect that I have for the team that I`ve been with for six years and the company that I have been with my entire career.

“I know how hard the guys work to make the Honda competitive and I know that we have the potential to fight again for more podiums and race wins and the championship next season. Those podiums and wins are what motivate all of us and that`s why I know that everyone will pull out the stops over the winter again to make them happen.

“We will go into the testing programme in a much better position than we were in 12 months ago because we`ve worked so hard to get the new electronics package to work this season. I am as motivated as ever and really looking forward to riding my bike again.”

Tipped to be the first rider in several years to push Rea as a team-mate in 2013, Haslam has spent much of his year recovering from a serious leg break he sustained at Assen. However, with experience of the CBR1000RR under his belt and a confidence-boosting win at the prestigious Suzuka 8 Hours, Haslam is pleased to be staying put.

“I`m very happy to have another go at it, really! This season has been pretty non-existent with the injury and the big learning curve we`ve had with the new electronics. So I`m excited to get back to full fitness and to have good go with the bike and see if we can turn the potential into success.

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