Three-time World Superbike Champion Jonathan Rea has been awarded 2017 MCN Man of the Year after storming the public vote.
Rea, who won his third consecutive title in 2017, beat six-time Bennetts British Superbike king Shane Byrne to the honours taking a 36% share of the vote to Byrne’s 16%.
2017 marked a huge year for Rea as he became the first rider in World Superbike history to win three titles back to back, was made an MBE by Prince William and later went on to shock the UK by securing a surprise second place in BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
“I knew I was on the shortlist but the other riders nominated were of incredibly high calibre, so to win after my incredible 2017 season is amazing,” Rea told MCN’s Greg Haines as he presented the award, which has been awarded since 1955 with previous winners including John Surtees, Mike Hailwood, Giacomo Agostini and Valentino Rossi.
"It makes it more special that the readers vote for the award, so thanks to everyone who voted! Now I want to close the chapter on 2017 and start 2018. Last year was an incredible year, and to be acknowledged by the MCN readers means a lot."
2017 Dakar Rally winner Sam Sunderland finished third in the vote ahead of MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez and road racing stars Michael Dunlop and Ian Hutchinson.
Rea is the sixth World Superbike rider to win MCN Man of the Year after Carl Fogarty, Neil Hodgson, Colin Edwards, James Toseland and Tom Sykes. Last year the award went to MotoGP’s Cal Crutchlow.
2017 MCN MAN OF THE YEAR VOTE
Jonathan Rea – 36%
Shane Byrne – 16%
Sam Sunderland – 14%
Marc Marquez – 12%
Michael Dunlop – 11%
Ian Hutchinson – 10%