While it appears popular Nick Hayden is staying in MotoGP with Aspar next season instead of heading to World Superbike, the production-based series received a boost Thursday when numerous European media reports indicated Jonny Rea - one of WSBK's best and most popular riders -- will remain in the series next season.
Rea is on the verge of re-signing with Ten Kate Honda, Honda Racing Europe boss Carlo Fiorani said. Rea decided to stay with the team once Honda assured him improvements in the bike's electronics would be made for next season.
The new deal should provide good news to Rea, who is sidelined with a broken femur suffered earlier this month at the Nurburgring round. Rea hopes to recover in time to return before the end of the season Oct. 20 at Jerez.
Rea replaced injured Casey Stoner last season at Misano and Aragon, finishing eighth and seventh. Those strong performances on a factory Honda increased Rea's profile in the MotoGP paddock, and he never was shy about his ambitions to climb to Grand Prix racing, hopefully using his Honda connections.
But no factory or customer seats remain at Honda in 2014. So staying home at Ten Kate - with the promise of improved electronics - was the next-best option for Northern Irish rider Rea.