Richard’s raring to be another Rea Brit hit
The name Rea is back on this year’s British Superbike Championship entry list, although this time it will be Richard Rea — younger brother of WSB star Jonathan — who will make his debut in the highly charged Superstock class, lining up alongside Steve Plater and John McGuinness on Easter Monday.
The affable 20-year-old decided to embark on his own British championship campaign, after a couple of years riding locally in the Irish Superbike Championship, and it’s a challenge both he, and his new team MB Motorsport, will relish.
“I’m really looking forward to riding in the British Superstock class, even though it’s going to be one hard championship this season with so many big names in it,” he explained.
“I will be riding a Honda Fireblade for the MB Motorsport team, who approached me last year about doing the final four rounds of the series with them. Unfortunately I got injured after doing the deal, so we’ve had to wait six months to get out on the bikes.”
The injuries Richard refers too, were sustained last July after a high-speed crash at Knockhill in Scotland. The Ballyclare lad sustained knee ligament damage, cracked vertebrae in his neck and a couple of broken toes to complete the set.
Thankfully team owners Stuart McConnell and Robert Brown had seen enough of his talent to stand by the former trainee builder, and with his recovery process now almost complete, Richard has been enjoying some pre-season testing in Spain.
It’s been a long wait, but as he explained, a worthwhile one.
“I was gutted at missing out on the final four rounds of the season last year as part of the deal with the team, and I also missed an opportunity to take in the final European Superstock round at Portimao with one of Ten Kate Honda’s junior teams, but these things happen,” he said.
“I’ve been out in Spain training and testing alongside Keith Amor already this year and we will be back out there for almost the whole month of March.
“JMF team owner Jimmy Murray has been kind enough to let me base myself with Keith at his place just outside Alicante, so I should be well ready for the Easter start at Brands,” enthused the youngster.
Richard will have his dad Johnny at his side during his debut year in British championship, and brother Jonathan will also be heavily involved, where possible.
Richard will also be taking in as many rounds of the local Irish Superbike and all-new Mondello Park, Kildare Championships as his calendar will allow.
For these races he has retained his Rea Distribution Honda Fireblade. The only change will be tyres, with Richard deciding to run the British series’ Metzeler control tyre all year, in all three championships.