Author: Bike Social Sports Reporter Posted: 21 Sep 2014
Michael van der Mark will step up to the World Superbike Championship next year after penning a two-year deal to ride for the PATA Honda squad.
van der Mark was crowned World Supersport champion in Jerez with three rounds remaining of the 2014 season. His new deal means he will remain with the ten Kate Honda outfit for a fourth year. The Dutchman took the European Superstock 600 title for the team before moving to Supersport in 2013.
The 21-year-old is no stranger to Honda’s Fireblade, for the last two years he’s taken victory aboard the CBR1000RR in the prestigious Suzuka 8 hour race.
van der Mark will replace Jonathan Rea in the PATA-backed outfit as the Northern Irishman moves to the Factory Kawasaki team. Like Rea’s current agreement, it is thought van der Mark’s deal is directly with HRC rather than the ten Kate team itself.
“I’m really, really happy with this next step” said van der Mark on the deal. “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.”