Six-time WorldSBK champion Jonathan Rea has left the door open regarding a potential switch to MotoGP in 2022. 

Rea recently signed a new multi-year contract extension with Kawasaki to remain in WorldSBK, however, that didn’t stop the Northern Irishman from leaving the possibility open. 

"There’s always [the opportunity] and it’s always [in my mind]; I feel like I’m riding the best I’ve ever ridden and that I’m really in the peak of my life balance, so you know, never say never," said Rea.

Before the Dutch WorldSBK weekend began on Friday, Rea didn’t dismiss rumours linking him to Petronas Yamaha entirely, but did say ‘I read the same things as you (interviewer) and was equally as surprised’

Petronas SRT could be looking for not one, but two new riders come the 2022 season as Franco Morbidelli and Valentino Rossi’s futures remain uncertain. 

Morbidelli ‘could’ be in line for a factory seat alongside Fabio Quartararo at Monster Energy Yamaha, while Rossi could be staying (considered unlikely), retiring or even moving to Ducati.

Rea isn’t the only rider in WorldSBK to be linked with Petronas Yamaha’ seat, as current championship leader Toprak Razgatlioglu was in the running before signing a two-year extension with Pata Yamaha. 

Fellow Yamaha rider Garrett Gerloff is another rider who has been touted for the ride. The American signed a one-year deal to remain at Yamaha in 2022 with GRT - must be noted - it doesn’t rule him out from making the switch to MotoGP should he be offered a contract. 

Rea was asked about both Razgatlioglu and Gerloff choosing to remain in WorldSBK for the time being, which brought out an interesting response. 

"I’m very surprised at that to be honest; I don’t want to comment on it as my comment has been misconstrued. I have some pretty strong comments on it off the record," added Rea.