WorldSBK

Jonathan Rea closing on a new long-term Kawasaki WorldSBK deal?

Jonathan Rea is set to put aside any doubts that his future is anything other than Kawasaki by agreeing a new long-term deal with the WorldSBK outfit

Kawasaki Racing boss Guim Roda says the manufacturer is in negotiations with Jonathan Rea over a new Marc Marquez-style long-term agreement that could keep him at the team for longer than the usual two years.

The Ulsterman, who clinched a record-breaking fifth consecutive WorldSBK title in 2019, has firmly established himself as the greatest Superbike rider of all-time having now accumulated 89 victories, with the vast majority these occurring at Kawasaki since 2015.

As it stands, his current contract with Kawasaki comes to an end with the conclusion of this season, but Rea has made no secret of his desire to remain with the Japanese marque.

Indeed, given the value that comes with him pushing Kawasaki on to becoming the dominant force in WorldSBK, of its rivals only Honda is perhaps capable of matching a similar salary, though it has committed itself to Alvaro Bautista.

It’s a similar situation in MotoGP where Marquez hasn’t been chased hard by rival teams despite his runaway success. As such, Roda says Rea may even put aside any doubts of his future in the sport by emulating Marquez with a three or four-year extension.

“Marc Marquez renewed with the Honda HRC in MotoGP for another four years: there is a logic,” he told Corse di Moto. “Jonathan Rea is 33 years old, since he is with us in KRT he has won five in a row and, at a minimum, before leaving he wants to bring three more. 

“Certainly Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Jonathan Rea are working to make a long term agreement possible.”

Notably, Rea went on to ‘like’ the tweet linking to the original article.

The only potential fly in the ointment for Rea is the development timeline for the new Kawasaki ZX-10RR, details of which remain very scarce.

Though the current model remains the WorldSBK machine to beat in Rea’s hands, it is slipping down the power table following the launch of the Ducati Panigale V4 R and the Honda CBR1000RR-R. For now, Roda says he has no details as to when this may appear.

“It's a decision the Japanese have to make. We do not know. We manage the bike on the track, and we will make it go as fast as possible." 
 

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