It was a rollercoaster of a weekend for Jonathan Rea at Brno, from the highs of Saturday, when he set a new record for number of SBK wins, to the lows - and anger - of Sunday, following a contact with Sykes that ruled him out of the race. Today though, the #1 rider can smile once more, as his more than fruitful relationship with Kawasaki is set to continue for (at least) another two seasons. An agreement has been reached between the parties, the work having so far resulted in three world titles, with the Northern Irish rider scoring 45 wins, 36 podiums and 12 pole positions.
There were rumours about a possible move to MotoGP, but Johnny has decided to stay where he feels very much at home. “I am more than happy to continue 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, it feels natural to keep writing this incredible story together."
Kawasaki is also pleased of course, having retained its most successful ever rider, as confirmed by team manager Guim Roda. "It is important that JOhnny 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. All will be forced to give their maximum to beat Johnny and we will all continue working to improve the package so I’m sure the show will continue.”
Now Kawasaki just needs to sort the other half of the garage, where the situation with Tom Sykes is still to be defined, rumours suggesting that the Englishman may make a move to Yamaha.