Rea had several options for 2019 and beyond but has elected to stay loyal to Kawasaki and the WorldSBK championship paddock he has ridden in since 2008. Rea has secured three consecutive World Championships since he joined the Akashi based manufacturer in 2015.
Rea and Kawasaki has been a winning partnership since their first season together, with Rea becoming the most successful WorldSBK rider ever, in terms of race wins, at the most recent event in Brno.
Jonathan's legendary self-belief is mirrored by his confidence in the future of both Kawasaki's WorldSBK racing efforts and the increasing profile of WorldSBK racing. Over the past three-and-a-half seasons Jonathan has enjoyed a wins-per-race ratio of just under 50% since he joined Kawasaki. He is already the most successful Kawasaki WorldSBK rider in history, with his 45 victories taken on either the Ninja ZX-10R or Ninja ZX-10RR.
Re-signing Rea underlines Kawasaki's commitment to be an integral part of the WorldSBK Championship itself and its desire to continue its development of ever-improving machines for both the marketplace and WorldSBK racing use.
Steve Guttridge, Kawasaki Race Planning Manager, stated: “Signing Jonathan originally was so cool. The foundation for his dominance was built up very quickly. JR deciding to stay with KRT after three World Championships and breaking records is actually even cooler. All those strong relationships can remain in place. It is the same goals and motivations that we share with JR, and the dedicated KRT crew, engineers and team staff. To continue making history together with Kawasaki inside WorldSBK.”
Guim Roda, KRT Team Manager, stated: “We can celebrate that Johnny decides to stay two more years in Kawasaki and running in WorldSBK. It is important that he has decided that WorldSBK is the place that still makes him motivated. I'm sure many fans would like to see him running with the top guys in MotoGP, but we can ask the guys from MotoGP to come here to see the battle too. The level Rea has now is so high and this only will make the level of other riders and manufacturers in WorldSBK increase. All will be forced to give their maximum to beat Johnny, so we all must be happy and motivated. Of course, we all will continue working to improve the package so I'm sure the show will continue. Other riders and manufacturers will need to work hard if wants to have the honour of being a WorldSBK Champion. The show must go on.”