Rea will ride alongside current KRT WorldSBK team-mate Alex Lowes and British Superbike rider Leon Haslam. 

A two-time winner of the event, Rea will be looking to make it a hat-trick of wins, something Lowes and Haslam have already achieved. 

Rea wasn’t the only rider to win the event in 2019 as Haslam was also part of Kawasaki’s line-up, as was current Pata Yamaha rider and reigning WorldSBK champion Toprak Razgatlioglu. 

Rea’s first success at Suzuka came in 2012 when he rode alongside Tadayuki Okada and Kousuke Akiyoshi at Honda. 

For Haslam, the former WorldSBK rider won the event twice with Honda (2013-14) and once with Kawasaki (2019).

Due to COVID-19 the Suzuka 8h race has not taken place since 2019, however, Rea expects the atmosphere to be just as ‘incredible’ as before. 

Speaking about returning to Suzuka with Kawasaki, Rea added: "I am so excited to go back to Japan. Understandably Kawasaki has always had such great support out there. We won the race 3 years ago. 

"Kawasaki was keen to defend the title and especially to continue the positive exposure WorldSBK is delivering to Kawasaki currently while extending that positivity to the 8h and Japan. 

"Due to Covid we weren’t able to return until now. I always feel really appreciated by the Japanese fans. The atmosphere is incredible and I am really looking forward to going back. I think the target heading back to Suzuka is to win. 

"We won there before and this season I feel, with Alex and Leon inside the team, we have a lot of experience together with the Ninja ZX-10RR. 

"I am really excited to go back and see what we can do. We are going with a huge effort, lots of testing, taking the event seriously with a strong rider line up and a team with a lot more experience. 

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"I feel the minimum we can do is compete for the podium, but of course in Endurance racing everything can go right, everything can go wrong. We have to be very calm, mature, and do our best, lap-by-lap."

Lowes aiming high in first Kawasaki appearance at Suzuka 8h

Since signing for Kawasaki in 2020, Lowes has been unable to take part in the event for KRT due to the above-mentioned pandemic. 

The three-time winner with Yamaha has been extremely impressive at the Endurance race, which is why fighting for the win is once again at the forefront of his mind.

"It is a race that I have had some success with in the past," said Lowes. "I am really happy to be going back there with Kawasaki for the first time. To be paired with Jonathan, who won last time he was there, is fantastic. 

"Obviously I am a good friend of Leon’s away from the track so it will be nice to be in the same team as him too. I share the garage with Johnny every weekend and he obviously is a reigning champion at Suzuka because we have missed a couple of years. 

"I have won the event three times so I think we have a pretty good team, a strong team, and I am looking forward to seeing how we get on all together. 

"With the test schedule Kawasaki has created we know how focused they are on this race. As the race comes back on the calendar in 2022 they want to win and we are going there to do our best to achieve another victory. Let’s see if we can hit our target."

The 2022 Suzuka 8h race takes place between August 7-9.