Jonathan Rea today ended speculation regarding his future after announcing that he will remain with Kawasaki in world superbikes for at least two more years.
The three-time champ, who broke Carl Fogarty’s 19-year-old record of world superbike race wins when he won his 60thrace in Brno on Saturday, will remain with the Spanish-run Kawasaki factory team until the end of 2020.
He told WorldSBK.com: “I am more than happy to continue in these next two seasons with the Kawasaki Racing Team. 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.”
Having beaten Fogarty’s race win record, the Carole Nash backed star can equal King Carl’s record of four world championships if he lifts the title again in 2018. With at least two more years in the championship, it is not inconceivable that the 31-year-old racer from Northern Ireland can smash even more records.
Who will partner Rea at Kawasaki in 2019 remains unknown, however Dutch rider Michael van der Mark looks like the front runner. The 25-year-old is hot property in the championship after winning both races at Donington Park earlier this month. His future almost certainly looks to remain in world superbikes after the final factory seat in MotoGP was filled when Spanish Moto2 hot shot Joan Mir was confirmed as a Suzuki rider in 2019.