Former World Supersport race winner Gino Rea will return to the championship for 2015, signing to join Lincolnshire-based CIA Insurance PTR Honda. The eleventh hour deal, only days before the season is due to get underway in Australia, sees Rea return to the series after a three year absence spent in Moto2.
Struggling in the Grand Prix support series despite a number of impressive runs in wet conditions, Rea will now return to the series where he first made his mark. Graduating to WSS in 2010 after winning the European Superstock 600 championship the previous year, he took a win and multiple podiums from his two seasons in the series.
Speaking after the deal as announced, Rea said: "Getting a competitive bike and team in any Championship is absolutely vital. I want to win races again, so I spoke with CIA Landlords Insurance Honda and we agreed terms very quickly. We both share the same ambitions and that is to win races and a World Championship. I know how competitive the team is from racing against them in the past, so I'm confident that we can be at the front. “
“It's been a long time since I've ridden a World Supersport machine so I can’t wait to get on the bike in Australia. I am really looking forward to the challenge ahead.”
Team boss Simon Buckmaster added: “We are absolutely delighted to have Gino in the CIA Landlords Insurance Honda team and cannot wait to see what we can achieve together. He is a proven winner and competitor that I think can race right at the front on our bike. It is realistic to expect race wins and a high Championship position for him.”
“We have been talking with Gino since Eugene Laverty moved to Superbike as a potential rider for our team. We have a long-standing interest in Gino and firmly believe he is one of the best 600cc riders in the world.”
“For contractual reasons out of our control we have split with Sheridan, so being able to replace him with a rider of Gino’s calibre is fortunate for the team. We all wish Sheridan the very best for 2015 and are doing all we can to help him remain in the Championship at this late stage.”
South African Morias was originally signed to ride for the team but will now be replaced by Rea, who joins Riccardo Russo, Martin Cardenas and fellow Brit Kieran Clarke in the four man squad.