Jonathan Rea: World Superbikes champion eyes new Kawasaki contract after 2020 season

Jonathan Rea
Jonathan Rea won his fifth world title with two rounds to spare

World Superbikes champion Jonathan Rea says he is hopeful of signing a new deal with Kawasaki when his current contract expires next year.

Rea, 32, won his fifth straight title in dramatic fashion, overturning a 61-point deficit to finish ahead of Alvaro Bautista.

"I feel like after 2020 we could been in a position to do another one-plus-one or a two-year contract," said Rea.

"I'm really happy [at Kawasaki]; it suits the way I work."

Talk of a new contract re-emphasises Rea's desire to continue racing for the foreseeable future, having previously toyed with the idea of retirement after completing his hat-trick of world titles in 2017.

"I was talking about retirement two years ago because I just didn't know what to do," he admitted.

"But I can't see retirement now. You wouldn't believe how motivated I am."

Last week, the Ballyclare racer was named BBC Northern Ireland Sports Personality of the Year for the second time.

Rea's fifth world title is arguably his greatest achievement to date, given that Bautista was well on course to end the Northern Irishman's reign at the top of World Superbikes after winning the opening 11 races of the season.

Jonathan Rea
Rea has been with Kawasaki since 2008

However Rea fought back to surpass Carl Fogarty's tally of four World Superbike titles and win the championship with two rounds to spare.

The 2020 season, which begins in Australia on 28 February, will mark Rea's 12th year with Kawasaki.

"I think we start the year as favourites, but every year throws up a curveball," Rea said.

"We never saw that what happened at the start of this year with Alvaro was going to happen.

"I feel good in this position and I'm going to work really hard with my team to make it six.

"I feel like I've got everything mapped out.

"I've won the championship from the front, I've came from the rear now, I'm in the best team and it's up to me to put it all together.

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