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Motorsport | Superbikes

Jonathan Rea © Gallo Images

Rea extends Kawasaki deal

Reigning World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea has agreed a new two-year deal with Kawasaki Racing Team.

Rea has dominated WSBK for the last three years, becoming the first rider to win three-successive titles.

The Northern Irishman has claimed 45 victories with Kawasaki since 2015, and set a new record with his 60th career win in Race 1 at Brno last weekend.

Rea had been considering offers to make the switch to MotoGP next year, but eventually decided to remain with Kawasaki.

“I am more than happy to continue in these next two seasons with the Kawasaki Racing Team,” said Rea.

“Since the end of last season we have already started to talk about continuing our partnership, so it’s nice to finalise everything now, so that we can concentrate on the remaining races of 2018.

“From the moment I arrived at the end of 2014 I was welcomed into the Kawasaki family and since then we have achieved success beyond our wildest dreams.

“Here is where I want to stay. Of course it feels natural to keep writing this incredible story together, and I want to thank everyone in the Kawasaki Racing Team for believing in me and for this opportunity."

Kawasaki team manager Guim Roda added: “We can celebrate that Johnny decides to stay two more years in Kawasaki and running in WSBK.

“It is important that he has decided that WSBK is the place that still makes him motivated. I’m sure many fans would like to see him running with the top guys in MotoGP, but we can ask the guys from MotoGP to come here to see the battle too.

“The level Rea has now is so high and this only will make the level of other riders and manufacturers in WSBK increase.

“All will be forced to give their maximum to beat Johnny, so we all must be happy and motivated. Of course, we all will continue working to improve the package so I’m sure the show will continue.

“Other riders and manufacturers will need to work hard if wants to have the honour of being a WSBK Champion. The show must go on.”

Rea's teammate Tom Sykes has been linked with a move to Yamaha for next year with Michael van der Mark and Alex Lowes rumoured as potential replacements.


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