Pata Honda Unveils Team Lineup

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Pata Honda revealed its bikes and riders on Saturday. (Honda Pro Racing photo)
Pata Honda revealed its bikes and riders on Saturday. (Honda Pro Racing photo)
Pata Honda revealed its bikes and riders on Saturday. (Honda Pro Racing photo)

The Pata Honda lineup for the 2015 World Superbike championship was officially unveiled at Verona in Italy Saturday when Sylvain Guintoli and Michael van der Mark were presented to a large and enthusiastic crowd of Italian fans and media.

The two riders – both world champions in 2014 – have already tested their 2015-specification Pata Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP race machines this year at Portimao, Portugal and, earlier this week, at Aragon in Spain.

In spite of less-than-favorable weather conditions, both riders declared themselves happy with the development of the CBR, on which their Netherlands-based team has worked hard to meet revised technical regulations for the 2015 WSBK season.

Reigning World Superbike champion, Guintoli, 32, and his 22-year-old Pata Honda teammate, van der Mark, who won last season’s World Supersport crown, will return to Spain tomorrow for a two-day test at Jerez on Monday and Tuesday next week.

The forthcoming season marks the third in which Pata, one of Europe’s largest and most successful manufacturers of potato chips and snacks, has supported Honda’s official entry in the World Superbike championship. Pata president, Remo Gobbi, a passionate follower of motorsports on two and four wheels, was alongside both Pata Honda World Superbike riders when the covers came of their CBR machines on Saturday afternoon.

“Bringing the No. 1 plate to a new manufacturer is a big deal, really, because it doesn’t happen very often,” Guintoli said. “It’s symbolic for me, too, because I’ll be going for the title again on a different bike, the Honda CBR. I’ll definitely be wearing the number one with pride this year. But I’m motivated by the challenge and I’ve found a team that also wants it really badly.”