Superbike 2019: What if Ducati tries to sign Jonathan Rea?

Jonathan Rea on Ducati Panigale V4. For now it’s just science fiction, but who wouldn’t like to see the most successful WorldSBK rider ever on the most awaited bike for 2019? It would be a great shock for World Championship, where lately we’ve been seeing for so long the same bike-rider pairs.  Rea’s contract with Kawasaki will expire at the end of the season and the same will happen with those of the other main protagonists, with Leon Camier representing the only exception. Who knows? Maybe Rea and Ducati are considering this option, or even already negotiating…

BACK TO THE FUTURE – Few people know that Jonathan Rea “risked” to join Ducati already at the end of 2007. Davide Tardozzi, who then managed Ducati operations in Superbike, had already closed the negotiations and the then 20-year-old Northern Irish had almost signed. Ducati wanted him to succeed Bayliss, who would have retired in 2008 after winning one last title. In Ducati Rea could have started a winning cycle and this year he could have boasted more than the three titles he’s achieved with Kawasaki. This could have happened also without a possible move to MotoGP, always with Ducati. To sum up, everything would have been different. But Jonathan, at the last second, decided to remain in Honda, for which he raced for many years till 2014.

OPPORTUNITY – Now, with 31 years of age, Jonathan Rea could have a new chance to be a “Ducatista”. He’s very good in finding the right setup quickly and this could be very useful in the development of the new Panigale V4. The three times World Champion has already understood how strong the new bike is, as he already saw it at Jerez last November. Ducati test rider Lorenzo Zanetti was riding it on the Spanish track and the most impressed one was right Rea. “I followed him from Turn 5 till the second last straight and as he went from the third gear to the fourth, he distanced me of many metres.” said the rider from Ballymena. He added: “In 2019 it will be impossible to beat Ducati V4.” That could be right, especially if he rode it…

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