Gino Rea can't wait to begin his World Supersport career when racing gets underway in Australia next month after putting pen to paper with the Intermoto Honda team.
The reigning European Superstock 600 rider graduates to the Supersport category in 2010 after impressing the Czech team during a recent test at Cartagena in Spain.
Extending his relationship with the Honda manufacturer, with whom he claimed the Superstock title in 2009, Rea was delighted to be given the chance to join the Supersport ranks and is now counting down the days until his race debut at Phillip Island on February 28th.
“I flew to the teams head office and workshop to sign the contract and I couldn't be happier right now,” he beamed. “The team has a new colour scheme for this year and I get to run my #4 which I'm really pleased about, I've had #4 since I first rode a bike at the age of three, I won my first motocross championship with it and more recently the Superstock title in 2009.
“I'm so excited to get on the bike at Phillip Island! This is what I've worked for since I come to the World SBK paddock in 2007 in the Superstock class, where I first worked with Andrew Stone who will come with me into the Intermoto Honda team for our World Supersport campaign.
“After winning the Superstock 600cc title this year I really hoped it would help secure me a ride, and eventually it has. I'm looking forward to a new challenge and I cant wait to get things underway.
“I tested with the team at Cartagena and really gelled with them, the test went great and I showed that I'm capable of riding a Supersport bike fast. Things just went from there. I'm thankful that they have given me the opportunity to race with them and as always I'll be working my best to repay their faith in me.
Rea has been keeping busy in recent weeks by training in Spain with British Superbike Champion and Aprilia WSBK rider Leon Camier.
“I've been hard at work in the pre-season, I went to Spain training with Leon Camier so I hope that I can piece things together and be competitive in the World Supersport Championship. I know its going to be very hard – it's such a competitive and premier class, so we will see how things pan out at the first round in Phillip Island, Australia!”
Rea will be partnered by WSS race winner Massimo Roccoli in the Intermoto Honda team.