SBK, Jonathan Rea: "In 2014 I could have gone to Ducati"

“I feel really bad for the Ducati guys because it was that close… I signed this Kawasaki contract and it was the best decision I ever made”


Johnny Rea v Scott Redding, part 2: Today, the second part of the live chat was published on the WSBK channel, featuring the two riders who hope to be chasing for this year’s production-based title. They had a few words about the present, but at the same time also exchanged views about their respective pasts.

This was particularly the case of Scott, who recalled his first years in the world championship GP paddock: “The 125 for me was good; it was my first year there and then 2009 was my second year, but I was as tall as I am now at 72 kilos on a 125 against foreign guys that were probably 55 kilos. The bike was fast but always breaking down, then in January Marc VDS started up in Moto2, so the choices I had were either MZ or Marc VDS, that was one point in my career where things went the right way.”

Johnny also spoke about his early days in the World SBK paddock: "I went with the Ten Kate Honda team in Supersport and the bikes were so good. I finished second in the championship to my team-mate Andrew Pitt. I had a clause of one year in Supersport and two years in SBK. My team put me on a superbike for the last round in Portugal and I finished fourth which was awesome because it was Bayliss’s last year. I was actually on front row with him in my first race in SBK.”

Then Rea revealed some background information about that period: "I won on the Honda every season I was there; it just wasn’t a consistent bike to be there every weekend. I had no other options, to be honest. In 2013 I wanted to get out of my contract, Yamaha had offered me a deal and BMW offered to buy me out of my contract. However, I agreed to stay the last year with Honda when I could have also gone to Ducati so it all could have been different. I feel really bad for the Ducati guys because it was that close… I signed this Kawasaki contract and it was the best decision I ever made.”

It seems that we will never see Rea in red, but we can instead settle for Scott, who explained how he ended up with Ducati: “I had to make the decision to get out of MotoGP because my head was gone. I needed to get out and do something to rebuild myself so that’s what I did last year going to BSB. I hated racing and hated bikes at the time, but now I’ve come to the point when I start to enjoy and love it again. It’s nice to come back to world level in SBK and have a good team and bike behind me and you can fight with the best riders. It’s nice to have that but you have to go through hard times to appreciate it.”




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