Carole Nash are proud sponsors of Kawasaki Racing Team's Jonathan Rea – and have been for a number of years now. Jonny, or 'JR' as he is affectionately known to the paddock, is certainly one of the most talented racers out on the circuit in any class today.
Name: Jonathan Rea
Date of Birth: February 2nd, 1987
Birthplace: Larne, Northern Ireland
Residency: Isle of Man
Bike: Kawasaki ZX-10R
Race number: 65
Team: Kawasaki Racing Team
Family: Married to Tatia and father to Jake
Rea started out young - his first experience of competitive racing was winning the British 60cc Motocross Championship at the age of ten. Having run out of funds to ride competitively in MX, Rea replied to a 2002 newspaper ad to join a Red Bull Rookies road race programme and was fortunately chosen out of hundreds of entries. Aged 15, this is where his road-racing career began.
Jonathan took part in the 2003 British 125cc Championship and did not let setbacks from a crash injury in 2004 get in the way of entering the British Superbike class for the first time in 2005, riding with Honda. Immediately showing his potential, Rea took a pole position, the youngest rider to ever do so, and finished 16th overall despite missing two races – an incredible performance for a first-timer who had only just turned 18!
After powering up the rankings to finish 4th in 2006 and 2nd in 2007, JR made the jump to the Supersport World Championship in 2008, placing 2nd overall with three wins, and then to the Superbike World Championship that very same year.
Rea's long-held talents on the circuit began to hit the big time in the 2009 season: two wins and eight total podium spots saw him finish 5th, and he has remained a constant title contender ever since, despite occasional injuries.
The 2015 season, his first with Kawasaki after a long and fruitful association with the renowned Ten Kate racing family, will be remembered as the greatest triumph of his career. A total of 14 wins helped him seal the crown of FIM World Superbike Championship in tremendous style. He was so dominant that he clinched the title with a fourth-placed finish in Jerez in September, when there were still five races of the season remaining!
In 2016, the Northern Irishman continued to be one of the circuit’s biggest stars. He celebrated victories in Australia, Thailand, the Netherlands, Italy, the United States and Germany to put him top of the riders’ championship by the end of September, and 48 points clear of team-mate Tom Sykes with just four races remaining.
The last two rounds of the season take place in Spain and Qatar during October - we’ll be cheering for Jonathan on every lap!
Jonathan Rea career summary
- 2003 - 14th British 125GP championship
- 2004 - British Supersport championship - injured
- 2005 - 16th British Superbike championship
- 2006 - 4th British Superbike championship
- 2007 - Runner-up British Superbike championship / Winner 300km Suzuka
- 2008 - Runner-up World Supersport championship
- 2009 - 5th World Superbike championship (two wins)
- 2010 - 4th World Superbike championship (four wins)
- 2011 - 9th World Superbike championship (two wins)
- 2012 - 5th World Superbike championship (two wins) / Winner Suzuka 8-hour
- 2013 - 9th World Superbike championship (one win)
- 2014 - 3rd World Superbike championship (four wins)
- 2015 - FIM Superbike World Champion (14 wins)
Pre-race video message - 15th September 2015
Check out the latest Vlog from Jonathan Rea Official ahead of the Jerez WorldSBK race this weekend - fingers crossed he can secure the title this weekend! #TEAM65Posted by Insidebikes on Tuesday, 15 September 2015