Jonathan Rea to Switch from Kawasaki to Yamaha for 2024 World Superbike Championship

Jonathan Rea, widely regarded as one of the most successful motorcycle racers in history, has recently announced his move from Kawasaki to Yamaha for the upcoming 2024 World Superbike Championship. Rea has been closely associated with Kawasaki since 2015, and together they have delivered some of the most thrilling racing on two wheels.

Rea holds the title for the most successful motorcycle racer in history, having secured six consecutive World Championship titles from 2015 to 2020, all while riding the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR race bike. In an article published by Motorcycle News, Rea expressed his gratitude for his time with Kawasaki, highlighting the six consecutive championships as the standout achievement. He also emphasized the invaluable memories, life lessons, and laughter that he will carry with him into the future. Rea is determined to finish the 2023 season with the same level of commitment and strength.

Starting from the 2024 season, Rea will be joining forces with Italian motorcycle racer Andrea Locatelli, riding the Yamaha YZF-R1 race bike. Rea will effectively replace Turkish racer Toprak Razgatlioglu, who is also making a switch to BMW for the 2024 season. This development is particularly intriguing considering that Razgatlioglu ended Rea's winning streak in 2021. Currently, the Turkish rider maintains a higher position than Rea in the ongoing season, sitting in second place behind Alvaro Bautista of Ducati.

As of now, Rea's performance in the 2023 season has been relatively underwhelming compared to his previous seasons. He has only secured one victory since the start of the season but has managed to reach the podium on 10 occasions out of 24 races. Nevertheless, Rea boasts an impressive track record in the sport, with 261 race starts, 104 wins, 214 podium finishes, 37 pole positions, 79 front-row starts, and 92 fastest lap records. Yamaha will be Rea's third manufacturer in the World Superbike Championship, as he began his career with Honda in the 2008 season, where he achieved 15 victories.

In a press release, Eric de Seynes, the President and CEO of Yamaha Motor Europe, expressed his delight in welcoming Rea to the Yamaha family. He emphasized their shared motivation to win and their passion for WorldSBK. Both Yamaha and Rea have been recent world champions and aim to reclaim the top spot. Seynes praised Rea's drive, determination, and hunger for success, highlighting these qualities as key contributors to their future success together.