Rea: Would have been nice to measure my level in MotoGP, I feel the door is shut

Six-time WorldSBK champion Jonathan Rea feels ‘it would have been nice to measure my level compared to MotoGP riders’, as the opportunity to join the grand prix paddock ‘is shut I feel’.
Jonathan Rea, Argentine WorldSBK race1, 16 October 2021
Jonathan Rea, Argentine WorldSBK race1, 16 October 2021
© Gold and Goose

With a move to MotoGP looking further and further away, WorldSBK legend Jonathan Rea feels content with never having the opportunity to join the grand prix paddock. 

Rea, who finished runner-up to Toprak Razgatlioglu in the 2021 WorldSBK Championship - another rider who’s been highly touted for a MotoGP move at stages, has been discussing the subject of joining the grand prix paddock and why he feels that particular door is shut. 

Unlike Razgatlioglu (25), Rea doesn’t quite have time on his side as he’s eight years older than the Pata Yamaha man. 

The six-time world champion, winner of 112 races and 215 podiums, is without doubt the greatest Superbike rider, however, that hasn’t stopped the door to MotoGP never really opening. 

In fact, the only way Rea has been able to test himself against grand prix competition has been in the form of MotoGP riders moving across to Superbike racing, something that hasn’t troubled the Kawasaki rider.

Two examples would be Alvaro Bautista and Scott Redding, whom he beat to the championship in 2019 and 2020. 

Of course, if Rea moved to MotoGP and faced the likes of Marc Marquez, Fabio Quartararo and Francesco Bagnaia, and if we go back a few years, Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo or Casey Stoner then it would surely have been a greater challenge.

However, that opportunity has failed to materialise to this point and is one Rea feels is completely ‘shut’ moving forward. 

Speaking to, Rea said: "Of course, it would have been nice to measure myself there and potentially see my level compared to MotoGP riders. 

"I was fortunate to get the chance to go there a couple of times as a replacement rider, but the only gauge we have is when MotoGP riders come to Superbike. 

"But that’s comparing apples to oranges. So you have to forget about that, and of course, I really feel that the door is shut and I’m content with that. 

"I’ve had a great career so far in Superbike and I still think the best is yet to come. I really think 2022 is lined up to be a great season for me and my team. 

"So, no regrets but in an ideal world when I was in my early 20s or mid 20s it would have been nice to have that opportunity to go and see what I could have done in that paddock. 

"In the last few seasons we’ve at least tested with the MotoGP guys at Jerez but that’s not happening anymore because we were quite fast and then it gets all the comparisons. 

"But I’m really fortunate that people talk about me in that way and think that I could do a good job. I’m lucky to have that and have people talk positively about me."

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