Kawasaki entering MotoGP with the ZX-10RR? Jonathan Rea has his say…

Jonathan Rea says Carmelo Ezpeleta's claim Kawasaki wanted to enter him into MotoGP wild-card races with its ZX-10RR is a 'joke'

Jonathan Rea - Kawasaki Racing Team

Jonathan Rea has laughed off the notion Kawasaki was considering entering him into a handful of MotoGP races with his ZX-10RR as a way to get around having to develop a prototype model.

Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta caused a stir last month when he appeared to suggest Kawasaki approached him over the prospect of entering wild-card events with its ZX-10RR, a machine that has dominated in Rea’s hands for the last five seasons of WorldSBK.

Ezpeleta went on to say that he turned it down before referring to WorldSBK – which Dorna promotes too - as ‘second division’ compared with MotoGP, raising some eyebrows in the Superbike paddock among BMW and Ducati who disputed his comments.

Though Kawasaki hasn’t commented on the story directly, Rea is rather bemused by the talk of entering MotoGP, telling Speedweek.de that entering his ZX-10RR would be ‘funny’ but a ‘joke’.

“I didn't really understand that. It is strange, »said the 33-year-old. «I don't want to start with a wildcard in MotoGP with my Kawasaki! It could be funny, but it's a joke.”

Crunching data under the current regulations, a WorldSBK machine – which uses sticky Pirelli qualifying rubber – would be competitive enough to get off the back row of a Michelin-shod grid in MotoGP, but would fall back through the race.

However, Kawasaki and Rea would need to use Michelin tyres to ever compete alongside their MotoGP counterparts, which the Ulsterman says would be completely futile.

“I would compete against prototype bikes with prototype tyres on a street motorcycle that was developed for Pirelli tyres.

“It would be like driving a touring car against a Formula 1. We are a series based on series bikes. Superbike World Cup and MotoGP are different worlds. It's like comparing apples to pears.”