Recent back-to-back Superbike World Champion Jonathan Rea was welcomed in a reception hosted by Northern Ireland’s Sports Minister Paul Givan, in Parliament Building to honour his incredible achievement this season.
“It is a pleasure for me to celebrate Jonathan’s success in winning back-to-back World Superbike titles. Jonathan is the first rider since Carl Fogarty in 1999 to win successive World Superbike titles. In order to win a world championship, a rider needs fantastic skill levels but also drive, determination, commitment and a strong nerve! Jonathan has certainly demonstrated this on numerous occasions and for him to win back-to-back championships is an incredible achievement. I would also like to praise Jonathan’s family and his team who provide him with the support he needs to go out racing every day.
“Jonathan, like so many other great sportsmen and women from Northern Ireland is a great role model for so many. Motorsport has a rich history in the province and attracts a significant following of enthusiastic supporters. We have also produced some of the finest racers in the world. I am a keen supporter of motorsports and want to see the various disciplines of the sport continue to thrive and grow in the future. As a first step I have allocated funding for safety works and equipment, which will benefit the sport. I wish Jonathan a continued, safe and highly successful career and here’s to the treble in 2017.”
In response to his warm reception, Rea commented, “I’m very grateful that my achievements have been acknowledged to the highest level in Northern Ireland. Growing up in Northern Ireland and racing schoolboy motocross here, truly gave me a springboard to go on to achieve my dream of being World Champion.
Coming back home after winning back-to-back WorldSBK Championships makes me very proud to represent Northern Ireland at the highest level. Motorcycling has always had rich history in this country and it is an honour for me to fly-the-flag knowing that I have so much support here.
“Looking back from when I first starting riding motorcycles, I would like to thank all those who supported me from the beginning, from volunteers at local MX tracks to the media who have followed my journey and the fans who’ve supported me all the way. The biggest thanks has to go to my family, who have sacrificed everything to get me here today and to my wife and kids, thanks for going all-in to the dream with me.”