Jonathan Rea has officially switched from Kawasaki to Yamaha after taking the covers off the Yamaha R1, which he will ride during a two-day post-season test at Jerez this week.
Just one day after the final round of the 2023 season, six-time FIM Superbike World Champion Jonathan Rea saw his #65 Yamaha R1 WorldSBK for the first time when he walked into the Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK pit box.
The bike was presented in a unique winter test livery featuring grey, white, and carbon fiber that pays homage to some of Yamaha’s classic color schemes.
In an exclusive two-day test that takes place after the last round of the 2023 WorldSBK season, Rea, along with new teammates Andrea Locatelli, Dominique Aegerter, and Remy Gardner, will have the opportunity to experience the Yamaha R1 that Crescent Racing has prepared for him to race in 2024 and 2025.
Ahead of one of the most eagerly awaited manufacturer changes in WorldSBK history, Jonathan Rea received a warm reception from his new team and the engineers at Yamaha and was treated to a thorough riding position fitting.
“It’s been an incredible first day and it was so surreal putting on my Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK polo – the feeling in blue is really nice – and when I walked into the box, everyone was so enthusiastic,” Rea said.
“I felt a lot of love and support straight away – the attention to detail on the team is amazing.
“From even my rider office having personalised logos in there already, to getting perfectly fitted on the bike – the attention to detail on that process was incredible.
“I just can’t wait now to spin my first laps on the R1,” the six-time WorldSBK champion added. “It’s a bike that I’ve seen up close on track but never had an opportunity to ride.
“So for tomorrow the main idea is to get comfortable on the bike – to understand my crew, for them to understand me and of course, to learn and have a positive outcome.
“Between now and Phillip Island we have a lot of time, but first impressions are always important and today was a really good one.
“I’m really excited to start and I want to thank everyone from Crescent Racing, Yamaha Motor Europe and all the sponsors for this opportunity because I think it’s going to be a great partnership and I’m looking forward to it.”
Jonathan Rea spent nine seasons with the KRT team, setting records for race wins, podium finishes, and WorldSBK championships. His early departure from the team was made possible by Kawasaki, allowing Rea to take the test.
While Yamaha has the benefit of Rea’s contract being released early by Kawasaki, the same cannot be said for Toprak Razgatlioglu, the rider he will replace.
His contract with Yamaha is set to expire on November 30th, so his official arrival at BMW in December will mark his first test with the German manufacturer.