A historic 1-2 in 2002 to a dominant double in 2022, Ten Kate Racing make it 20 years of dreamy moments at the ‘Cathedral of Speed’
The 2022 FIM Supersport World Championship is promising to be a thrilling battle throughout the course of the season, but the Motul Dutch Round at the TT Circuit Assen gave us a very special weekend. Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) took victory for the Dutch team, with team principal Ronald ten Kate in attendance, marking 20 years of home winning for the Championship’s most successful team. So, from their first WorldSSP appearance in 1999, their first win in 2002 to more success 20 years later – take a trip down memory lane as Ten Kate’s 20thanniversary of winning is celebrated.
10.) THE DEBUT: a fine first appearance in 1999
The 1999 WorldSSP season was a big one and by no means was it easy. However, the Dutch team made their debut on the world stage with a rather lowly 11th place on the grid with Australian rider Karl Muggeridge. However, when the lights went out, Muggeridge was on a mission through the pack, battling for second in the closing stages before finishing fourth on Ten Kate’s WorldSSP debut.
9.) THE FIRST HOME WIN: domination in 2002
Now in the Championship full-time and with fast riders taking them forward, the 2002 at Assen was special for Ten Kate Racing. Not only did they snatch pole position with Chris Vermeulen, who was in the Van Zon Honda set-up supported by Ten Kate, but Ten Kate’s main riders Fabien Foret and Iain MacPherson battled hard with reigning runner-up Paolo Casoli, beating the Italian to take a 1-2.
8.) DOUBLING UP: a repeat performance in 2003
As if taking WorldSSP by storm in 2002 wasn’t enough, this time it was Karl Muggeridge who led the way, the rider who put the team on the WorldSSP map in 1999. Vermeulen took pole again and he and ‘Muggers’ battled it out through 16-lap thriller. Championship leader Vermeulen led onto the last lap, but Muggeridge found a way ahead, taking the team to a second consecutive 1-2 at home.
Moving into the WorldSBK class for 2004, Ten Kate Racing brought their reigning WorldSSP Champion Chris Vermeulen. Vermeulen, with Dutch ancestry, was keen to deliver a memorable WorldSBK home debut at Assen and in Race 2, he did that. A tense battle with Ducati’s eventual Champion James Toseland, the lead changed three times on the last lap with Vermeulen victorious.
2004 saw one double completed at Laguna Seca, but now the team was after the same achievement at home. Chris Vermeulen delivered the dream, with the Australian hitting the front with just over a lap to go after a race-long battle with Yamaha Noriyuki Haga and defending valiantly on the last lap. Holding off Haga, Vermeulen took victory, the last World Championship race at the ‘Old Assen’.
After a winless 2006 round at Assen, the home crowd were after some more Ten Kate Racing magic in 2007. James Toseland arrived as the Championship leader after a win in Valencia and despite a valiant attempt by Noriyuki Haga, who came from 15th on the grid, Toseland pulled clear at the front to make it look easy. It wasn’t to be a double in Race 2, but Ten Kate were back winning at home.
Jonathan Rea entered his second full WorldSBK season remaining with the Ten Kate Racing squad and after missing out on victory at Assen for two years, they again wanted to be top dogs. A seven-rider fight in Race 1 saw Rea come out on top, whilst Race 2 saw the Ulsterman ease clear to take the double, whilst making it his first double in WorldSBK – an iconic moment for both.
2015 for WorldSBK was a great year, but it was also the first year for Michael van der Mark in the Superbike class. Having taken the 2014 WorldSSP title and a win at Assen in that campaign, van der Mark battled hard to take a first ever podium, with the Dutchman then going on to double up for the Ten Kate Honda outfit in front of a passionate home crowd. A home WorldSBK debut to remember.
After years with Honda, Ten Kate returned to Yamaha machinery halfway through 2019, but 2021 marked their first-time racing at home with the iconic Japanese brand. To mark the occasion, the team reverted to their resplendent, iconic yellow livery. Dominique Aegerter took pole and broke clear in Race 1 and Race 2 for a dominant double, much to a rapturous reception of the home crowd.
The 2022 Motul Dutch Round really did roll back the years – not quite like the yellow livery of 2021 but still enough. Dominique Aegerter smashed the lap record in Superpole and snatched a Race 1 win from home-hero Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team) just before a red flag. In Race 2, he cruised off in the second half, marking 20 years of home success for Ten Kate. The only way it could get better would be if it was in WorldSBK – maybe one day in the future, we’ll see it again.
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