By Kyle White Belfast Newsletter.
Jonathan Rea says he is ‘deeply honoured’ to receive an OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours list.
The six-time World Superbike champion, who received the MBE for services to motorcycle racing in 2017, joins fellow Northern Ireland rider Joey Dunlop as a recipient of both prestigious royal accolades.
Rea said: “I am extremely grateful and deeply honoured to receive an OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours list. While it has come as a welcome surprise, I am so pleased that my sport has been recognised and I am very proud to represent Northern Ireland and the UK in motorsport around the world.
“It is an amazing moment for me and my family who are always there to support me and that is reflected in the whole Kawasaki Racing Team, as well as the support from my friends and fans around the globe.
Jonathan Rea is a six-time World Superbike champion.
“On an international level it demonstrates that Northern Ireland is indeed the home of motorcycling,” he added.
“From road racing right through to World Superbike, we really do punch above our weight, so it is a real privilege to be given an honour like this in recognition of my racing achievements.”
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Rea is the most successful rider ever in the history of World Superbikes, winning six consecutive titles from 2015-2020. The 34-year-old was narrowly edged out this year by Turkey’s Toprak Razgatlioglu after a memorable title tussle that went down to the final round in Indonesia in November.
The County Antrim man achieved a milestone 100th World Superbike victory in the opening race of the 2021 season at Motorland Aragon in Spain and went on to clinch his 200th rostrum at Most in the Czech Republic.
A revered figure in world motorcycling, Rea is one of Northern Ireland’s greatest ever sportsmen.
And the 34-year-old isn’t finished just yet, with Rea and his Kawasaki Racing Team returning to fight for a magnificent seventh world crown in 2022.