Read about Jonathan Rea, including career highlights, pictures and news of the road racer right here at Motorcycle USA.
The luck of the Irish has nothing to do with Johnny Rea’s success as a World Superbike challenger. A fiery competitor, the 2007-2008 Irish Motorcyclist of the Year forced team managers to take notice of his impressive results.
Rea moved to SBK after proving himself in the British Superbike series. After finishing fourth in the championship in ’06, Rea moved to HM Plant Honda for ’07 where he was impressive. Wins at Mondello, Knock Hill and Oulton established him as a front runner. He finished runner-up to teammate, Ryuichi Kiyonari, in the 2007 British Superbike Championship.
From there he signed on with Ten Kate Honda where he would ride Supersport in ’08 and move to Superbikes in ’09. After a rough start to the ’08 season he started putting wins together and positioned himself to challenge for the title with a win at the season finale. Unfortunately, his championship run ended when he was taken out by Robbin Harris. He finished runner-up in the ’08 World Supersport Championship.
Bigger things were in store for Rea in 2009 as he made the move to World Superbike. He established himself as a challenger with two wins in his rookie season and the right to give it another try for the powerhouse Ten Kate Honda squad in 2010.
Rea continued improving in the series during 2010, earning a total of four wins and another 12 podium finishes. His impressive riding allowed the Irishman to battle side by side with Max Biaggi and Leon Haslam, and Rea claimed fourth overall in the series. In 2011 Rea’s season was marred by numerous injuries after crashing during practice at Misano. Despite his injuries, the Irishman competed in 18 races throughout the season with Castrol Honda – scoring two wins and five podiums to finish ninth overall in the championship.
Rea continued his working relationship with Honda through the 2012 season with the Honda World Superbike Team alongside teammate Hiroshi Aoyama. He was successful in avoiding the myriad injures that plagued him in 2011 and was a fierce competitor within the top-10 all year. He notched two race wins and took six podiums during, finishing fifth overall. Late in the season he was chosen to do double duty, filling in for the injured Casey Stoner on the Repsol Honda team in MotoGP, and earned respectable eighth and seventh place finishes in the two races he contested. Despite the stint in GP, he later announced that he would remain in World Superbike through 2013.
With new title sponsor Pata, Rea will pilot his trusty CBR1000RR in 2013 with Leon Haslam as his new teammate.
Rea kicked off the 2013 season with a pair of eighth-place finishes and followed that up with a fourth in Race 1 at Aragon. A broken brake-adjustor in Race 2 forced Rea to the pit, though he was able to rejoin and finished 15th. Rea reached for more consistent results in subsequent races but hit a number of road-blocks along the way, retiring from four contests and taking 11th in Race 2 at Donington Park. When he was on he was a threat for top-five results, ending the season with four podiums, one win and a handful of fourth-place results.
At Nurburgring, Rea suffered a season-ending crash in Race 1 after sliding on oil left on track after another rider’s engine blew. He broke his left femur in the incident and was unable to return to until after the season’s end.
Rea will have another chance to put the CBR1000RR on the top-step in 2014 as he continues with Pata Honda alongside teammate Leon Haslam.
2013 – 9th World Superbike – Honda
2012 – 5th World Superbike – Honda
2011 - 9th World Superbike – Honda
2010 - 4th World Superbike – Honda
2009 – 5th World Superbike – Honda
2008 – 2nd World Supersport – Honda
2007 – 2nd British Superbike – Honda
2006 – 4th British Superbike