Jonathan Rea will remain with Kawasaki in the Superbike World Championship for the next two years, it has been confirmed.
The Ulsterman, who surpassed Carl Fogarty’s all-time World Superbike win record with victory in the opening race at Brno this weekend, has signed a new two-year deal with the squad despite rumours he could have been MotoGP-bound for 2019.
Rea has been an unstoppable force since joining Kawasaki for the 2015 World Championship, winning the title each year since to make history as the first rider to ever win three World Superbike Championships back to back.
Rea is currently 65 points ahead of rivals in the chase for the 2018 crown, meaning he’s well on the way to equalling Fogarty’s record of four world titles while also becoming the first rider to win four consecutively.
The new deal will see Rea have the chance to fight for two more World Superbike titles in 2019 and 2020.
“I am more than happy to continue in these next two seasons with the Kawasaki Racing Team,” he said. “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. Together we will work harder than ever to keep the ZX-10RR at the front of WorldSBK in the future. I have the best team of people around me to ensure that we can continue fighting for the World Championship.”
While Rea will remain in Kawasaki’s World Superbike line-up for 2019, it’s expected there will be change the other side of the garage with Tom Sykes set to depart at the end of the 2018 season.