Six-time champ Jonathan Rea agrees two-year Kawasaki WorldSBK extension

Jonathan Rea agrees a new two-year deal with Kawasaki to keep him in 'Team Green' for the 2023 and 2024 WorldSBK Championship seasons

Jonathan Rea - Kawasaki Racing Team

Jonathan Rea will remain with Kawasaki in the WorldSBK Championship for another two seasons, it has been confirmed.

The Ulsterman - far and away the most successful WorldSBK rider of all-time - has accumulated 117 wins since his debut in 2009, the majority of which have come since switching from Honda to Kawasaki in 2015.

It is also the manufacturer with whom he secured all six of his WorldSBK titles - achieved consecutively between 2015 and 2020 - with Rea currently attempting to reclaim the crown he lost to Toprak Razgatlioglu in 2021.

While there had been some murmurings that Rea might be considering a WorldSBK future beyond Kawasaki, the Ulsterman - who has previously said he’d expected to have retired by now - says he is delighted to be continuing his relationship with the Japanese firm 

“I am really happy and excited to renew my contract with Kawasaki, to roll on for two more years. It has been an incredible partnership; we have enjoyed so much success together that it is almost a natural progression. 

“There was not much negotiation needed to continue together from both sides. It was more a case of how much more motivation I had to keep racing at the highest level in the WorldSBK Championship.

“It has been an incredible few seasons; more competitive than ever. I have realised how motivated I am to continue and to continue fighting to win. Kawasaki gave me the opportunity back in 2015 to realise a childhood dream when I won the WorldSBK championship in the first year together. 

“As a partnership we are so solid, and I am looking forward to continuing to make memories and representing an incredible manufacturer and brand.”

After winning its first WorldSBK title in two decades with Tom Sykes’ success in 2013, Kawasaki reached a new level of dominance courtesy of Rea, with his six straight title wins coming fairly comfortably.

However, after coming up against a new formidable foe in 2021 WorldSBK Champion Razgatlioglu, Rea has come out swinging in 2022 with five wins putting him in the heart of a simmering title fight with Razgatlioglu and Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista.

“Since we signed Jonny for the 2015 season, and until now, we have written a nice part of WorldSBK’s history,” said KRT’s Guim Roda. “We are so proud to be part of this Rea success story, which also means, Kawasaki’s success story. It’s going on eight seasons together now, and Jonny has been performing at the maximum, always. 

“Nowadays, and at the age of 35, he is in his best shape, and we know there's still a lot of dancing left to be done.

“We have been working hard to define, with KMC, which kind of project we could create for Jonny to allow him to keep pushing at 110%. 

“I think we gave him the motivation he needed to go for it for two more years. We can never rest on our laurels of our successful past, so we will have a hard job to cover his expectations. 

“We are ready for that. We guarantee it will be a real show for at least two more years.”