The signing of Jonathan Rea alongside former World Superbike champion Tom Sykes will lift Kawasaki 'to the next level' in 2015.

That is the claim of Kawasaki Race Planning Manager Steve Guttridge, adding that it had been the team's dream to sign a rider such as Rea for several seasons.

The Ulsterman claimed 15 race wins during six years at Ten Kate Honda, including a career best third overall in this year's standings, having outperformed all of his team-mates.

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If Rea can continue that trend at Kawasaki, he could finally achieve his goal of becoming a world champion, having previously finished runner-up in the 2008 WSS standings.

"The opportunity to sign a rider of Johnny's calibre and experience to race alongside our established hero Tom Sykes was a dream we'd studied every season, but this time it could come true!" Guttridge said.

"Johnny is super-motivated to make the next step in his career and thankfully it is with Kawasaki. We will give him all the tools necessary to make that next step in the Superbike World Championship with our great crew and bike.

"He himself as a character has a big potential to add to our team's overall success, both on and off the track, and his personal enthusiasm to succeed alongside Tom can only lift the Kawasaki Racing Team and our brand to the next level in 2015."

The new Kawasaki line-up will begin preparations for the 2015 season with testing in Spain later this month.

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Interesting comment - "Rea will lift Kawasaki to the next level."
That implies that the team thinks that he will do better than Sykes.