So Long World Superbike – Jonathan Rea Making a Move to MotoGP? On a Honda Production Racer?

08/13/2013 @ 1:55 pm, by Jensen Beeler7 COMMENTS

So Long World Superbike   Jonathan Rea Making a Move to MotoGP? On a Honda Production Racer? jonathan rea repsol honda misano motogp scott jones 635x422

Jonathan Rea may be the latest rider to move out from World Superbike Championship and into the elite ranks of the MotoGP paddock, as according to MCN the Northern Irish rider has confirmed that he is in talks via HRC to move into the premier class for next season.

Currently riding for Ten Kate’s factory-backed Pata Honda team in WSBK, Rea has been virtually the only rider in World Superbike able to ride the Honda CBR1000RR race bike with any success, as Honda struggles to make its race package more approachable for other riders, and more competitive against the competition.

Carrying a torch for Honda’s WSBK effort, it looks like Rea’s efforts will finally be rewarded, if all goes according to plan, with a bump into MotoGP being the ultimate prize — likely on a Honda Production Racer.

While Honda is still developing the more affordable stripped-down version of the Honda RC213V for private teams, Big Red has been around the paddock trying to sell the five packages it plans on providing to MotoGP in 2014.

While rumor has it that Honda is having a tougher time closing sales than it originally thought, it has come out that HRC is mentioning Jonathan Rea’s name as riders that Honda would like to see on the machine.

One team that might be on the short list for a Honda Production Racer / Jonathan Rea combination is Paul Bird Motorsports (PBM), an ex-WSBK British team that has made no secret about its desire for an all-British rider line-up in MotoGP.

Currently running an Aprilia ART for rider Yonny Hernandez and an RSV4-powered bike of the team’s own design for Michael Laverty, it is not a large stretch of the imagination to see PBM drop Hernandez for Rea, especially as uncertainty circles around the ART project and which designation the motorcycle will have under Dorna’s new MotoGP rules.

Teams like PBM could certainly do worse than Rea, who has unequivocally shown himself to be among the top riders in WSBK. Rea also has MotoGP and Bridgestone experience (a huge plus), as the 26-year-old substituted for Casey Stoner at last year’s round at Misano — finishing a modest eighth place in the race.

Talking to Bike Sport News though, Rea isn’t limiting his options solely to Honda equipment, and says that he has been in talks with other private teams about a non-MSMA ride.

With Honda set to debut its long-rumored new MotoGP-inspired V4  sport bike, Rea’s options in WSBK are finally looking a bit brighter, and the Brit hasn’t ruled out staying in the premier production racing class. As always, time will tell.

Source: MCN & Bike Sport News; Photo: © 2012 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. twoversion says:

    J-Ray up in da big house boyeeiiii!!!

    For serious though, he’s a really nice hard working professional motorcycle racer – the sport will be better off with guys like him on the world feed.

  2. @twoversion:

    Yeah, I thought he presented very well at Misano last year, both on the bike and on camera in interviews. He would be a most welcome addition to the paddock, I think.

  3. Alasdair says:

    I hope this ends up coming true – I thought Rea did a good job when he was on the Repsol bike. Did he not fill in for two rounds though?

  4. “Did he not fill in for two rounds though?”

    Yep. Misano (8th) and Aragon (7th), good for 17 points at the end of the season. Not bad for wildcard rides and no prior experience on MotoGP electronics or Bridgestone tires.

  5. TexusTim says:

    great addition to the motogp paddock hopefully on a honda….if it will be HONDA you can imagine his bikes will be “super massaged” thats how hrc does it. maybe a happy ending ?…lol

  6. Ken C. says:

    “…finishing a modest eighth place in the race.”

    He was hanging with guys like Nicky Hayden and Randy De Puniet in that race, granted they were on crappy machinery, and he was on a factory Honda, but still, to do that in your first MotoGP outing is pretty impressive.

  7. TwoWheelLoo says:

    Rea’s long term loyalty on less-than competitive machinery needs to be rewarded, hopefully it will be answered; either on a V4 honda or a GP ride. I would of tipped him to ride for Aprilia WSBK in 2013, but his loyalty for Honda is strong; Suzuka 8 hr and the wildcard for Repsol has been a good taste but Honda needs to give this guy a break.