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‘To be world champion, something had to change’ - Rea

Kawasaki World Superbike newboy Jonathan Rea has spoken for the first time about his decision to move away from Honda in 2015 and what influenced his decision to make the switch to the green team.

Rea snubbed a move to MotoGP with HRC as it wasn’t on a competitive package but then decided that to achieve his ambition of become WSBK champion, he had to make a move away from the manufacturer he had been with since his schoolboy motocross days.

“I had to stop doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result. To be world champion, something had to change; now it has. I had been with Honda since I moved from motocross so it was a very long, tough, decision-making time. What people don’t really understand is there are always positives and negatives to every opportunity in racing,” said Rea in an exclusive interview with Bikesport News.

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“I feel like I have achieved a lot in what I have done but personally I feel I have underachieved a little bit. I feel like I should have been in a position now to challenge for a world championship. I also know the CBR inside out so I knew if I was to expect a different outcome then I needed a change.

“I really admire and respect the team and the people at Honda Europe who have been constantly behind the Superbike programme, but I really struggled to understand the lack of input and development from the technical side, from a HRC point of view, in a championship that’s so competitive.

“To win you have to have the support of a full factory behind you. We looked at a few opportunities and Kawasaki with what both their riders were doing on the bike and being the only real true factory right behind the programme, aside from Ducati, so it was a no-brainer for me really.”

Read the full story in the new issue of Bikesportnews, out on Thursday.

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