The six-time WorldSBK champion has been sensational through the opening few rounds and although Alvaro Bautista has a 36 point lead over him, Rea remains a serious threat in the championship fight.

The Kawasaki rider, winner of five races so far this season - a tally that is one shy of Bautista - was not for the first time linked with a move to Ducati before the Italian manufacturer confirmed Bautista for another season.

And although that hasn’t stopped the rumour mill from going into overdrive, staying at Kawasaki appears to be Rea’s best option if he’s to continue being a title contender in 2023. 

Carl Fogarty EXCLUSIVE interview | Crash.Net WorldSBK

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s round five of the 2022 season at Donington Park, Rea confirmed he will be staying on the Superbike grid next season, although the team is yet to be confirmed.

In fact, talks are yet to really get underway with anyone, suggesting a surprise move elsewhere could yet happen, albeit it remains unlikely. 

Bautista and Ducati continuing their partnership ‘a natural step’ says Rea

"Alvaro’s deal [with Ducati] is a natural step, he’s doing a good job and he’s competitive, so it’s only natural to continue. About me, it’s that time of the year. 

"One thing for sure is that I’m not going to stay at home and watch the races; my manager is coming here this weekend and he’ll understand everything. Then, in the next days or weeks, there’ll be communication. It’s exciting times but I’ll be on the grid next year in WorldSBK and I can’t wait!"

Garrett Gerloff gunning for first WorldSBK podium of 2022

The American’s last podium finish came in the form of second place during race two of the 2021 British round. 

With Gerloff’s future also up in the air and obviously a lot less secure than Rea’s, turning potential into results needs to happen fast for the Texan.  

"If you get the podium once, you’ve got to be able to do it twice!" said Gerloff ahead of this weekend. "That would be nice. Everybody’s going really fast this year, it’s something that we see in the overall race times. 

"The pace is a lot quicker especially with the front guys. For sure, the top three are at a really good level. I have the same bike as Toprak, and I should be able to do something. We’re going to start with the setup we had last year and go from there."