Jonathan Rea to part ways with Kawasaki end season

Jonathan Rea to part ways with Kawasaki end season

Jonathan Rea has shockingly announced that he will be leaving the Kawasaki Racing Team at the conclusion of the 2023 WorldSBK Championship season.

Rea is anticipated to join Yamaha after serving as a factory Kawasaki rider for nine seasons, taking Toprak Razgatlioglu’s place as the latter announced he will be joining the BMW lineup next season.

With 101 WorldSBK victories and six WorldSBK titles won jointly, it will mark the end of an incredibly successful chapter for both Rea and Kawasaki. It was this run of form that helped him become the most successful rider in the history of the championship.

“I want to thank everyone at KMC and KRT for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to prove myself at the highest level,” Rea said. “I have learnt and grown so much as a person and a rider since the first day throwing my leg over the factory Ninja ZX-10R superbike.

“Winning six consecutive WorldSBK Championships will always be the most obvious highlight of my time with Kawasaki; but it will also be the amazing memories, the life lessons, and the laughs that I will take with me into the future.

“And, for sure, it’s our mission to complete the 2023 season as strongly and with as much commitment as we have always shown.

“Now, looking back on our journey, it fills me with pride at the joy and happiness we have brought Kawasaki fans and Kawasaki owners around the world.

“This is not a goodbye, because you don’t say goodbye to family, but it is simply the end of this incredible chapter.

“I wish everyone at KRT the best of luck for the chapters that will surely follow. See you at the track.”

See also  Rea dominates opening practice at Magny-Cours

After winning six consecutive championships, Rea lost to Turkish rider Razgatlioglu for the 2021 World Superbike championship and, despite winning six races, came in third place behind Alvaro Bautista and Razgatlioglu in the 2022 season.

In recent seasons, Rea’s Kawasaki has struggled to match the straight-line speed of the Yamaha and, in particular, Bautista’s Ducati.

In the 2023 WorldSBK Championship, Jonathan Rea currently sits third behind Toprak Razgatlioglu. He won the first race of the season at Most, that marked the high point of his current campaign.

Bautista is still expected to win the championship. With four rounds left, the Spaniard has a 74-point advantage over Razgatlioglu in the standings, and Rea is 102 points behind.

Rea had stated that he would take the six-week break to make “a clear decision” regarding his future after the most recent round of the season at the Most circuit in late July.

The County Antrim man is the most successful rider in the history of the championship with a staggering 119 career World Superbike race victories and 256 podium finishes in 401 races.

Fifteen of the aforementioned victories came while he was a member of the Honda team between 2009 and 2014, whereas the remaining victories were won during his record-breaking partnership with Kawasaki.

Rea and Andrea Locatelli are anticipated to join the factory Yamaha team for the upcoming season after rumors started to circulate over the summer break.

Leave a Reply