In a move that surprised no one today, Jonathan Rea has inked another multi-year deal with Kawasaki in the WorldSBK Championship.
The news was expected as Rea has been unstoppable ever since he joined the Kawasaki Racing Team (KRT) in 2015, which has led to a record-breaking five WorldSBK titles in a row for the Northern Irishman.
One of the most talented riders on any track right now, Rea is the man to beat in the production-based paddock, and KRT has honed the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR into an absolute weapon for its riders.
This combination makes for a very tough assignment to defeat, as we have seen from the efforts and failures of Ducati, Yamaha, Honda, and BMW Motorrad in their attempts to upset the champion and his team.
Strangely enough, it is not clear from Kawasaki’s communication how long Rea’s deal actually is in duration, though the paddock wisdom is another two years, with Rea likely to finish his racing career now on the green machinery.
The ambiguity could also come from various options both parties have in the contract, for instance a third year of racing or a post-racing ambassadorship – since the latter is becoming an increasinglty more possible consideration for the 33-year-old rider.
Until he decides to give the history books a break though, Rea continues to be the most-sought after name in the WorldSBK paddock; and much to the chagrin of those who would like to steal him away from Team Green, Kawasaki has locked him in for the foreseeable duration.
“I am super happy to sign a new contract with Kawasaki and KRT,” said Jonathan Rea. “What we have achieved together is incredible. Our success is driven by a great team and of course the base of the project – our Ninja ZX-10RR. I will keep working hard, together with my crew, the engineers at KHI to be in the best condition every single race.”
“This period away from racing has reignited a burning desire to keep winning and continue to improve my skills and the package of our bike. Racing never stands still and all the riders and manufactures are continuing to improve – we must do the same.”
“Now we can fully focus on our 2020 WorldSBK season where racing will restart soon. I want to thank Kawasaki, the team and all my sponsors for their continued support and this great opportunity.”
Source: Kawasaki; Photo: © 2018 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – All Rights Reserved