Tuesday, June 05, 2007

MotoGP: Johnny Rea To Ride For King Kenny

It's official, Northern Irishman Johnny Rea (pronounced Ray) will be riding the second Team KR Honda bike in the MotoGP round at Donington.
Rea partners current British Superbike Champion Ryuichi Kiyonari in the factory HM Plant Honda team in the BSB championship, and followed the Japanese rider home for a pair of 2nd place finishes last time out at Snetterton. He is currently in Japan testing for the prestigious Suzuka 8-hour race, which is arguably the single most important meeting of the year for the Japanese manufacturers. One of the reasons why Rea was chosen seems to be that he races Michelin tyres in BSB, so he was chosen over the other Honda-backed rising star, Englishman Leon Camier, who races in BSB on Dunlops.
At just 20 years old, Rea is already an established star in British Superbikes, having being extremely quick, if a little erratic, when he arrived in the championship in 2005, and maturing enough to be selected for the factory Honda team this year. He has only been road racing since 2003, having started out in Motocross.
What will Team KR and HRC be expecting from the young Ulsterman?
We will hope to hear Kenny Roberts Senior and his engineers praising Johnny's feedback and maturity. As the first time out on a MotoGP bike that the team admit doesn't handle, we can't really expect an amazing result. A successful weekend would involve not falling off, and gradually getting closer to Kenny Junior's lap times.
It will be an excellent opportunity for Rea to meet important HRC and Michelin people, and show his face on the world stage. His cocky but charming personality should take him a long way if he relaxes and rides the Team KR machine as best he can.


Alessandro Matteucci aka Alex 555 said...

You made me curios.... I can not wait ...

Jimmy said...

Well, Rea and Kiyonari won the Suzuka 300km (a warm-up race for the Suzuka 8 hour) and Rea just won a race in the British Superbike Championship today. He's very quick. It will be interesting to see what he can do on such a terrible MotoGP machine!