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“I knock on the door of MotoGP… but it never opens” - Jonathan Rea

WorldSBK champion Jonathan Rea reveals he is 'frustrated' he hasn't had the opportunity to progress to MotoGP... but doesn't rule out a move for 2023

Jonathan Rea - Kawasaki Racing Team


WorldSBK Champion Jonathan Rea has opened up more about his frustration at never receiving the opportunity to step up into the MotoGP World Championship, saying he is ‘not sure why’ he’s never been courted.

The Kawasaki Racing Team rider has been the dominant force in WorldSBK for several years now with six consecutive titles enabling him to smash a series of all-time records, including his tally of 107 wins.

It has led many to brand him as the best rider not currently competing in MotoGP but with few riders making the step from WorldSBK to MotoGP in recent years, Rea - whose Kawasaki team doesn’t compete in the premier series -  hasn’t had a serious approach for his services.

It is a situation he admits has frustrated him, adding that his enduring success should have made him the ideal candidate to make the move.

However, Rea - who started two MotoGP races for Repsol Honda in 2012 - says that while he is tied into his Kawasaki contact for 2022, he hints there could be impetus for a move in 2023.

“About my future, I have no idea. All I do is know is that I have an incredible opportunity with KRT for 2022 again but ahead of that, I don’t know. I still feel like I am in the best moment; about new challenges such as MotoGP, I don’t know. 

“I’m a little bit frustrated with this to be honest because if you look at my CV, a six-time World Champion, I’ve been knocking on the door of MotoGP teams but the door never opens. 

“I’m not sure why but I am so happy here and I am happy with what I achieved.”

Jonathan Rea - Kawasaki Racing Team ZX-10RR, WorldSBK 2021, Assen

Is Jonathan Rea advertising himself for a 2023 MotoGP ride?

Much ink has been spilled over whether Rea will ever make the step into MotoGP, but while the Ulsterman is clearly thankful for the success he has achieved with Kawasaki, you sense the rhetoric has changed in recent weeks.

This appears to have come in tandem with the rumoured interest of Yamaha to poach him for a seat on the Petronas SRT bike.

While Yamaha might be loathe to buy him out of his lucrative Kawasaki contract, the fact Rea says he is keeping his options open beyond 2022 could be perceived as showing teams he could be available should they be interested.

There is a sense of regret that Rea hasn’t ever had a proper chance in MotoGP. He has previously said he would want to be on a competitive - aka factory - machine, but the only works interest reportedly only came from Aprilia.

However, the lines between factory and satellite have blurred in MotoGP recently meaning a seat at a team like Petronas SRT Yamaha isn’t the compromise it once was. With this in mind, it could open up Rea’s options for 2023 if he pushes to make the move.

While time isn’t necessarily on his side when you consider the shift towards tomorrow’s generation of riders, there is no doubt Rea remains the class act that many genuinely feel would flourish if given the right opportunity.

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