Jonathan Rea reveals MotoGP ‘frustration’

Jonathan Rea admits he has been left frustrated that the ‘door has never opened’ to give him a proper shot in the MotoGP World Championship.

Friday, 6th August 2021, 5:44 pm
Updated Friday, 6th August 2021, 5:47 pm

The Northern Ireland rider has recently been linked with a move to the premier Grand Prix class in 2022 with the Petronas Yamaha team.

However, Rea says he is ‘at peace’ with what he has achieved in his career and admits he could continue racing in World Superbikes for a few more years yet with his all-conquering Kawasaki Racing Team.

“About my future, I have no idea,” said Rea.

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World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea in action on Friday at Most in the Czech Republic

“All I do is know is that I have an incredible opportunity with KRT for 2022 again but ahead of that, I don’t know. I still feel like I am in the best moment; about new challenges such as MotoGP, I don’t know. “I’m a little bit frustrated with this to be honest because if you look at my CV, a six-time World Champion, I’ve been knocking on the door of MotoGP teams but the door never opens.

“I’m not sure why but I am so happy here and I am happy with what I achieved.”

Rea leads the championship by 37 points going into the opening race (13:00 BST) of round six on Saturday at Most in the Czech Republic, a new circuit on the WSBK calendar this year.

He is on the cusp of a milestone 200th career podium after reaching an incredible 100 victories in the opening race of the season at Motorland Aragon in Spain. Rea has won another seven races since then, including a treble last time out at Assen, and says his desire to keep winning remains undiminished as he chases a seventh successive world title.

“It’s funny when people ask me about motivation because it just changes year on year,” he said.

“I feel like I don’t have that anger inside to want to make something happen. I’m more at peace with myself with what I’ve achieved.

“Things are happening more fluidly; I’m not forcing a lap time to come. The motivation is something that’s never gone from my very first win,” he added.

“Somebody reminded me that this weekend could be my 200th podium and it’s just incredible, I have so many good memories form this sport and I’ve had an incredible life, an incredible story and I’m proud to be at such a number.”

Rea was sixth fastest overall on Friday, 0.8s down on pacesetter and nearest title rival Toprak Razgatlioglu on the Pata Yamaha.

Rain in the afternoon meant there was no improvement in times from FP1 and a number of riders, including Rea, opted not to venture out in FP2.

Rea’s Kawasaki team-mate Alex Lowes, who has signed a new contract for 2022, was second fastest, 0.6s down on Razgatlioglu, with Scott Redding in third on the Aruba.it Ducati.

A seventh world title would further underscore his status as the king of World Superbikes, but Rea isn’t entertaining the notion of hanging up his leathers for a few years yet.

“I’m so fortunate to have a race winning package here in WorldSBK with KRT, an incredible team,” he said.

“Maybe if they still love me in two years’ time, we’ll be together, but you never know what racing can bring.”

Eugene Laverty is absent this weekend for a second time as his RC Squadra Corse BMW team continues to undertake an internal restructuring process.