Kawasaki is delighted to announce that six-times WorldSBK champion Jonathan Rea has signed a two-year contract extension to race inside the official Kawasaki Racing Team (KRT), continuing a highly successful partnership that began in 2015.
After taking over 100 WorldSBK race wins on Kawasaki machinery Jonathan has shown characteristically high levels of motivation and confidence in the future of the overall KRT programme by extending his contract for the next two seasons.
The Ninja ZX-10RR programme will continue to be developed and this commitment has been central to Jonathan’s decision to remain inside the official Kawasaki WorldSBK effort.
Kawasaki has also underlined its commitment to remain in WorldSBK as it is considered the perfect World stage in which to show Kawasaki’s technical strengths and development prowess, with its flagship motorcycle products being central to the entire endeavour.
All parties are happy to have concluded this agreement relatively early in the season, as it will allow KRT and Jonathan a clear run to concentrate on their immediate joint goal of winning the 2022 FIM Superbike World Championship.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “I am really happy and excited to renew my contract with Kawasaki, to roll on for another two more years. It has been an incredible partnership, we have enjoyed so much success together that it is almost a natural progression. There was not much negotiation needed to continue together from both sides. It was more a case of how much more motivation I had to keep racing at the highest level in the WorldSBK championship. It has been an incredible few seasons; more competitive than ever. I have realised how motivated I am to continue and to continue fighting to win. Kawasaki gave me the opportunity back in 2015 to realise a childhood dream when I won the WorldSBK championship in the first year together. As a partnership we are so solid, and I am looking forward to continue making memories and representing an incredible manufacturer and brand. My team is my racing family. I love everyone inside the team like my own family and relationships like that count for a lot in racing. Huge credit goes to every single person in the staff, from Provec Racing, all the engineers in Japan, and everyone in the Kawasaki family. I am excited to see what we can do over the next two seasons.”
Guim Roda, KRT Team Manager, stated: “Since we signed Johnny for the 2015 season, and until now, we have written a nice part of WorldSBK’s history. We are so proud to be part of this Rea success story, which also means, Kawasaki’s success story. It’s going on eight seasons together now, and Johnny has been performing at the maximum, always. Nowadays, and at the age of 35, he is in his best shape, and we know there's still a lot of dancing left to be done. We have been working hard to define, with KMC, which kind of project we could create for Johnny to allow him to keep pushing at 110%. I think we gave him the motivation he needed to go for it for two years more. We can never rest on the laurels of our successful past, so we will have a hard job to cover JR’s expectations. We are ready for that. We guarantee it will be a real show for at least two more years…”
Shigemi Tanaka, General Manager of Marketing & Sales Division at Kawasaki Motors Corporation, Japan, stated: “Since Jonathan joined KRT in 2015, we have achieved a number of significant feats together with the incredible combination of his riding talent and our Ninja ZX-10RR. We are delighted that he will take the next step together with us again for another two years aiming to reach further unprecedented heights for all Kawasaki fans across the world”.
Steve Guttridge, Kawasaki Europe Race Planning Manager, stated: “Jonathan has been fundamental in creating an incredible relationship and a firm bond between the wider Kawasaki brand and the Ninja ZX-10RR in particular. Our six-time World Champion is undeniably part of the Kawasaki family and a history maker in his own right. Now, he has a chance to create another record-breaking chapter and we are eager to play a part in the next important phase of his racing journey.”
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
2022: Races 15, Wins 5, Podiums 13, Superpoles 2
Career Race Wins: 117 (102 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 228 (186 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 37 (33 for Kawasaki)
8 x Riders’ Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Tom Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020), 1 x EVO Riders’ Championship (David Salom 2014)
6 x Manufacturers’ Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020)
5 x Teams’ Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019)
Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
Total Kawasaki Race Wins: 176 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 503 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 102 – second overall