Jonathan Rea runner-up in 2017 BBC Sports Personality of the Year

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Three-time World Superbike Champion Jonathan Rea smashed all expectations to finish runner-up in the 2017 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

Finishing only 3000 votes behind multiple athletics gold medallist Mo Farah, Rea achieved the second highest number of votes in the contest voted for by the British public, beating para-athletics star Jonnie Peacock, who was third.


Significantly Rea also beat fellow motorsport champion, Lewis Hamilton, who became the most successful British F1 driver of all time with his 2017 title.

Rea made quite the entrance to Liverpool’s Echo Arena, riding on to stage on board a #1 plate ZX-10R to greet presenter Gabby Logan. 

The last motorcycle racer to be nominated for the award, double World Superbike Champion James Toseland, finished fourth in 2007. 

“I was surprised, big time! Really shocked,” Rea told BBC Radio 5 Live after the vote. “Obviously with social media nowadays I could see the betting polls and was hoping for top five, maybe secretly hoping for third. When third place was announced, I was like ‘OK, that’s that at least I’ve had a good time’ but when they read my name out for second I was so shocked.

“It means so much because it’s a public vote, I’m so humbled. Thank you everybody so much.

“I grew up around bikes, it was normal to me so I was never going to do anything else. I’m grateful to each and every individual who helped along the way, there have been a lot of injuries and setbacks but it’s all been worth it. 

“The road to where I am was difficult. I’ve had doctors telling me I’d broken my femur and I’d never ride again… Being here tonight and finishing second in this award for my sport, for myself and for my country is incredible.

“There are so many superstars in this room, past, present and future and so many people who perhaps didn’t make the shortlist that deserved to. I’m so happy.” 

BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2017 

Mo Farah: 83,524 votes

Jonathan Rea: 80,567

Jonnie Peacock: 73,429

Anthony Joshua: 73,411

Adam Peaty: 63,739

Lewis Hamilton: 60,627

Chris Froome: 47,683

Harry Kane: 18,759

Anya Shrubsole: 15,237

Bianca Walkden: 13,962

Johanna Konta: 7,591

Elise Christie: 6,504

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing