Over the past few months, rumors had been building that the Ten Kate Racing team would be entering MotoGP in 2008. Ronald ten Kate had himself admitted that they had been studying the possibilities, and believed that they could run a MotoGP team surprisingly cheaply. With a young British rider in outstanding form, in the shape of James Toseland, the move to MotoGP seemed to be an obvious step for Ten Kate.
Now, however, Motorcyclenews.com is reporting that Ten Kate are highly unlikely to go to MotoGP next year, preferring instead to focus their efforts on an expanded Superbike and Supersport effort in the World Superbike series. The team are planning to run four Honda CBR1000RR Fireblades in World Superbikes next year, and four Honda CBR600RRs in World Supersport starting in 2009.
However, it appears that Ten Kate have not ruled a MotoGP team out entirely. MCN quotes Ronald ten Kate as saying "There is still time to put in an official request for MotoGP but we havenâ€™t launched it." This would seem to suggest that they believe they still have time to mull things over, and get a MotoGP team together should they decide to enter the premier class.
This leaves James Toseland in a quandary: He must soon make a decision on whether to move to MotoGP in 2008 or not. He cannot afford to wait too long before making the switch, as Colin Edwards advised Toseland to make the switch as early as possible, to give himself more time to learn the bikes. On the other hand, however, if Ten Kate don't go, then Toseland is at the mercy of the MotoGP market, with several other riders ahead of him in the pecking order for a factory or factory-supported ride, something which Toseland has stated is a prerequisite on several occasions.