Rea signs fresh two-year deal with Kawasaki WSBK team
Jonathan Rea will stay in the World Superbike championship for a further two seasons after renewing his works Kawasaki contract through 2024.
Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki Racing Team WSBK
Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
Six-time world champion Rea first joined Kawasaki in 2015, winning the championship that season and then embarking on an unbeaten run of title success until finally being dethroned by Yamaha's Toprak Razgatlioglu last year.
His latest deal means the 35-year-old's relationship with Kawasaki will extend to at least 10 seasons.
“I am really happy and excited to renew my contract with Kawasaki, to roll on for two more years," commented Rea, who was the subject of rumours of a possible switch to Ducati or BMW in recent months.
"It has been an incredible partnership; we have enjoyed so much success together that it is almost a natural progression.
"There was not much negotiation needed to continue together from both sides. It was more a case of how much more motivation I had to keep racing at the highest level in the WorldSBK Championship.
“It has been an incredible few seasons; more competitive than ever. I have realised how motivated I am to continue and to continue fighting to win. Kawasaki gave me the opportunity back in 2015 to realise a childhood dream when I won the WorldSBK championship in the first year together.
"As a partnership we are so solid, and I am looking forward to continue making memories and representing an incredible manufacturer and brand.”
Rea currently sits second in the WSBK riders' standings as he bids to regain the crown he lost last year, 17 points behind Ducati rider Alvaro Bautista.
KRT team manager Guim Roda added: “Since we signed Jonny for the 2015 season, and until now, we have written a nice part of WorldSBK’s history. We are so proud to be part of this Rea success story, which also means, Kawasaki’s success story.
"It’s going on eight seasons together now, and Jonny has been performing at the maximum, always. Nowadays, and at the age of 35, he is in his best shape, and we know there's still a lot of dancing left to be done.
“We have been working hard to define, with KMC, which kind of project we could create for Jonny to allow him to keep pushing at 110%. I think we gave him the motivation he needed to go for it for two more years.
"We can never rest on our laurels of our successful past, so we will have a hard job to cover his expectations. We are ready for that. We guarantee it will be a real show for at least two more years.”
Rea's new contract settles Kawasaki's works rider line-up for 2023, as Alex Lowes signed a multi-year deal with the Japanese marque in 2021.
Both factory Kawasaki riders will also represent the marque in next month's Suzuka 8 Hours, along with Rea's former teammate Leon Haslam.
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