WSB: Rea: 'It'd take something special to get me to MotoGP in 2019'

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Jonathan Rea has said it would take something ‘special’ to see him move to MotoGP in 2019 despite numerous calls for the three-time World Superbike Champion to make the move to Grand Prix racing.

The Ulsterman’s current WorldSBK contract with Kawasaki runs out at the end of this season, and while Rea admits his management are considering a variety of options as rider movements begin in the MotoGP paddock, he insists a Grand Prix move is unlikely at this stage.

Rea has long said he wouldn’t make the move to MotoGP without a factory deal that would give him equipment capable of challenging at the front and when quizzed at yesterday’s Torrens Trophy presentation, he admitted competing in a season of 19 races as opposed to WorldSBK’s 13 would be a big commitment as a family man.

“Right now I am out of contract at the end of the season, so my management are exploring all opportunities at this stage,” Rea said. “It’s too early to say exactly what I’m looking to do, but I’m really happy at Kawasaki. I feel at home in Superbike as well so in an ideal world we would continue.

“Aside from that, there’s nothing happening right now, but my manager is a lot busier at this time of year than he ever has been before! From my side, I’ve found myself asking what I’m looking for from life. Am I looking to be happier? I’m not sure that’s possible! Am I looking for change? Not really… I’m just happy to have a bike that I can win races with. 

“It would take something pretty special to get me to MotoGP now. It was my dream to go there, but the best riders in the world are over there so if I’m going to go and race there I need a good package. I’d need to make up for a huge lack of experience with the bikes, the tracks and the tyres. It’s of zero interest to me to go and ride for a customer team when there are official riders with better equipment. I’m not motivated just to be in that paddock and be another guy, I want to measure myself fairly against the best guys in the world but at 31 I honestly don’t believe I’ll get that opportunity.”

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing