Rea: “In five years I don’t want to be here anymore”

Jonathan Rea says he has no intention of retiring anytime soon following his switch to Yamaha, but that in five years he hopes to have been replaced by younger talent in WorldSBK.
Jonathan Rea, Jerez WorldSBK Test, 31 October
Jonathan Rea, Jerez WorldSBK Test, 31 October

Despite WorldSSP champion, MotoGP riders and Moto2 champions all moving to WorldSBK recently, Rea has remained a consistent presence at the top of the Superbike class.

A six-time champion, Rea is well clear of any other rider in every meaningful category and has cemented himself as the best Superbike rider of all-time. 

And although the Northern Irishman is no spring chicken, his competitiveness is still as high as ever.

A switch to Yamaha will likely mean that Rea can contend for the 2023 title, and that’s exactly what he’s hoping to do with retirement not in sight.

Talking to Speedweek, Rea said: “I won’t retire as long as I’m competitive and having fun. I haven’t thought about retiring yet and I’m looking forward to my time with Yamaha.”

That said, the former Kawasaki rider was also clear about when he would like to end his Superbike career.

“But in five years I don’t want to be here anymore. I've been in this paddock since I was 21. In 2009 I came to the Superbike World Championship,” added Rea. 

“If I'm still here at 40, someone please tell me to make room for aspiring young drivers. There are many fast riders who are moving up. When the time comes to leave, it will come.”

Rea’s move to Yamaha means he will be aboard a different machine for the first time in nine years.

Replacing Toprak Razgatlioglu, Rea is jumping onto an R1 bike that has often been the main challenge to Alvaro Bautista and Ducati since the beginning of 2022.

Read More