In a move that is sure to send shockwaves through the world of motorcycle racing, Jonathan Rea, the six-time World Superbike Champion, is bidding farewell to Kawasaki and is set to make a remarkable transition to Yamaha for the 2024 WorldSBK Championship.
After nine incredible seasons with Kawasaki, Rea has decided to embrace a new challenge in Yamaha blue, joining forces with Paul Denning’s Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK squad.
This monumental switch marks the end of an era for Rea, who has not only been a consistent force in WorldSBK but also a defining figure in the history of Kawasaki.
During his tenure with the team, Rea clinched all six of his World Superbike titles, amassing an astonishing collection of over 100 race victories. However, the time has come for the Ulsterman to embark on a fresh adventure in the world of Yamaha.
Replacing Toprak Razgatlioglu, who is making a bold move to BMW for the upcoming season, Rea will be lining up alongside Andrea Locatelli, who also holds a contract for the same period.
Yamaha, the very manufacturer that halted Rea’s title streak in 2021, is now poised to be the backdrop for his next championship quest. It was in a nail-biting final-round showdown in Indonesia that Toprak secured the crown for Yamaha. Nevertheless, the 2022 season saw a relentless contest between the “Titanic Trio” – Rea, Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), and Razgatlioglu – with Bautista ultimately emerging as the champion.
Notably, Rea’s journey in WorldSBK has encompassed three different manufacturers: Honda, Kawasaki, and now Yamaha. His World Superbike odyssey commenced with Honda in 2008, where he initially took on a part-time role before securing a full-time seat in 2009. With Honda, Rea celebrated 15 victories before making the pivotal move to Kawasaki.
This switch to the green team marked the beginning of an era, with Rea’s exceptional talent translating into six titles, 104 wins, and a staggering 256 podiums in total.
Now, as he transitions to Yamaha, the motorsport world eagerly anticipates the next chapter in Rea’s storied career. Eric de Seynes, President & CEO of Yamaha Motor Europe, expressed his enthusiasm for this partnership, stating, “We truly believe that Jonathan can add to his World Championship tally, writing his name even larger in the history books, and we are equally confident that he can achieve this together with us.”
With Rea’s drive, determination, and hunger for success, combined with Yamaha’s commitment to excellence, the 2024 and 2025 World Superbike seasons promise to be nothing short of spectacular.