Rea was unbeatable in WSBK this past year, becoming the rider with the most race wins from the series’ history since he promised his fourth straight championship crown.

The Ulsterman signed a new contract to keep with the Provec outfit for a further two seasons, so rejecting chances to switch to MotoGP.

But Kawasaki has decided in its own WSBK lineup for first time since 2015, with reigning British winner Leon Haslam returning to the show to restore Tom Sykes.

“It is like a dream,” Haslam said. “I had nine good years in WSBK but that I had an opportunity in this way, to participate with KRT, linking the team that’s dominated the last four decades ago

“I would like to have the absolute maximum out of the bike and package of course should I accomplish this, I will be fighting hopefully with Jonathan.

“I am not likely to give myself some goals, I only want to get the absolute most out of myself and the bike and enjoy my rushing.

“Always the intention is to win which is what I’m here to accomplish.”

Sykes, who’s now part of this roles team, had endured his worst season as his 2013 name annually since he scored points versus the haul of 545 of Rea and won two championships.

Haslam, a one time 500cc full timer with the Hardwick outfit straight back in 2001, will embark as 2015.

Kawasaki is going to be the first bike the 35-year-old has ridden after Aprilia, , Suzuki, and Ducati. He completed runner-up to Max Biaggi in 2010 with Suzuki.

The team has enjoyed a strong start to the growing summer season in testing, with Rea setting the pace at Jerez and Haslam taking third behind the Alex Lowes of Yamaha.

Rea was fastest from the next evaluation at Portimao, with Haslam ending up fourth.

“[Testing] went very smooth this year,” Rea said. “Using the bicycle, generally it’s taken me quite a lot of time for you to accommodate in the past, but it feels like Kawasaki aren’t taking the new regulations but most of my opinions to all these last years and employing it to the bike.

“I felt directly away from winter we knew what we need to do and step by step we arrived.”

Testing continues on Monday in Phillip Island ahead of next weekend’s season opener at the trail that is n.

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Photo by: Kawasaki Racing Team

Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki Racing, Leon Haslam, Kawasaki Racing

Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki Racing, Leon Haslam, Kawasaki Racing

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Photo by: Kawasaki Racing Team

Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki Racing, Leon Haslam, Kawasaki Racing with the Ninja ZX-10RR, Kawasaki Racing

Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki Racing, Leon Haslam, Kawasaki Racing with the Ninja ZX-10RR, Kawasaki Racing

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Photo by: Kawasaki Racing Team

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Photo by: Kawasaki Racing Team

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