Belfast Telegraph

Jonathan Rea signs new deal with Kawasaki to stay in World Superbikes

By Adam McKendry

Three-time world champion Jonathan Rea has signed a new two-year deal with the Kawasaki Racing Team to stay in the World Superbikes for the 2019 and 2020 campaigns.

Rea, 31, has long been linked with a step up to MotoGP - where he would have plenty of suitors following his dominance in the WSB - but he has ended those rumours with this new deal.

The Ulsterman has long stated that he likes the World Superbikes and he has now pledged his short-term future to the championship with this deal.

He'll now aim to take his incredible legacy further with the team, with a fourth consecutive world championship title looking more and more likely each week, and now he has a deal that will have him setting his sights on five and six as well.

Rea and Kawasaki's partnership has been dominated by success, with the rider having won the world championship all three years he's been with the team.

After six years with Ten Kate Honda, Rea made the switch to Kawasaki in 2015 to partner Tom Sykes, and their rivalry drove Rea to his first world championship in that year.

Rea is the only rider to have won three successive World Superbike championships, and at the weekend he won his 60th World Superbike race, overtaking the record held by Carl Fogarty and edging him closer to his fourth consecutive title.

Last year, Rea finished second in the voting for BBC Sports Personality of the Year after his phenomenal performances throughout the campaign.

He announced his new contract in a video on the Kawasaki Racing Team's Twitter page - although we're not quite convinced by his team's acting skills...

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