2018 MotoGP World Championship – Since Maverick Viñales Suzuki left, Suzuki has lost ground in the MotoGP World Championship. Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins have great difficulties. So, rumors arise. Maverick Viñales finished the 2016 MotoGP World Championship with Suzuki in fourth place overall. After his victory in Silverstone and four podium places, the Spaniard was rewarded for 2017 with a place in the Yamaha factory team, and after 14 of 18 races, he is trailing by 28 points behind Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso in third place overall.
Andrea Iannone, Alex Rins, and Jonathan Rea
Suzuki factory rider Andrea Iannone, last year’s winner of the Spielberg-GP on Ducati, is 16th, and his teammate and rookie Alex Rins is 20th after a long injury break. Both riders are having difficulties with the GSX-RR, Davide Brivio has been shaking for a long time because there are no steps forward. In such situations, rumors are coming up. A creative colleague said the Superbike World Championship leader and soon to be triple world champion Jonathan Rea will compete with the Suzuki factory team for the 2018 MotoGP World Championship. But Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins have a Suzuki contract for 2018, and Jonathan Rea extended his Kawasaki contract for the 2018 World Superbike Championship in May 2016.
Jonathan Rea: “My future next year is with Kawasaki.”
“I don’t know who had so much imagination, I’ve seen the story on a lot of websites. It’s sensational,” said Jonathan Rea to the author of the false report about the 2018 MotoGP World Championship. “Iannone stumbles. So, the rumor came up. For me, that means five minutes of fame. But I have a contract with Kawasaki, and I’m thrilled with them. My future next year is with Kawasaki. I don’t think about breaking the contract, and there was no official communication with Suzuki, nobody called me. It’s just a story. I’m in MotoGP when Kawasaki is in MotoGP.”
“I’m happy in this championship.”
The contract between Kawasaki Heavy Industries and the Spanish Provec team for the Superbike World Championship runs until 2020, and Kawasaki has denied interest in the MotoGP class for years. “My contract with Kawasaki is for next year’s deal,” Jonathan Rea emphasized in a four-eyes discussion with SPEEDWEEK.com. “As long as Kawasaki doesn’t change the plans for 2018, I’m riding a superbike. I’m happy in this championship. There are new technical rules for next year that pose a great challenge. 2018 will be one of the most impressive seasons for my manager and all top drivers. At the end of next year, all drivers’ contracts will expire, and then maybe I’ll have new opportunities – maybe not.”
2018 MotoGP World Championship
Rea was 31 years old when he pointed out he was too old for MotoGP. “Not really, that’s how I see MotoGP. I like the Superbike life. I get a lot of money for riding a motorcycle and winning races. We have 13 events per season. The pressure is not as high as in the MotoGP class, where they run 18 races, maybe 21 in the future. I’ve been in the World Superbike Championship for a long time, the media have always been right to me. It’s like a family to me; everything is very open. On the other hand, I’m at the height of my career, I’ve never driven so well. It might be the right time now – we’ll see.”
In 2012, Rea was allowed to contest two MotoGP races at the factory Honda as a replacement for Casey Stoner in Misano and Aragón, but with little preparation time, he could not leave a lasting impression as eighth and seventh. If things don’t go wrong, the Nordire will be world champion for the third time in a row this weekend in Magny-Cours, not even the record champion Carl Fogarty (four titles). Outstanding performances of this kind are also acknowledged in the MotoGP paddock.
A funny story that came up
“I was at the MotoGP race at Silverstone,” Rea told SPEEDWEEK.com. “I don’t want to name any team managers by name now, but some very respected team managers said that I should be running MotoGP. But you also understand why I don’t. My only chance would be to ride a bad bike at the end of the field. And earn zero money, but be part of the big show. In the Superbike World Championship, I’m sitting on a factory machine and earning a lot of money.”
“That’s how it is. That’s why a guy like Shane Byrne drives British Championship. He makes too much money there to ride in the Superbike World Championship for a satellite team. The same applies to some people from the USA. Itis good to have people talk about me. I’m happy where I am. If I don’t get another chance, I can happily step back. I wanted to be world champion, I have already achieved that. Everything else is a bonus. A funny story that came up.”