British Superbikes: Jonathan Rea lifts prestigous Irish award

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Jonathan Rea left his sick bed on Saturday night to collect the NGK Irish Motorcyclist of the Year Award, which comprises the coveted Joey Dunlop Trophy.

“This is simply awesome,” said Jonathan Rea as he hobbled on to the stage with the aid of crutches. This time last year when I finished second I was also on crutches!

 “Joey was a boyhood hero of mine and now to win this special trophy is the best thing that has happened during my stay in hospital. Now I want to thank all those fans who voted for me because I regard this honour as a great tonic.”

Previous winners of this annual accolade include Tom Herron, Joey Dunlop, Philip McCallen and Jeremy McWilliams.

Last month Jonathan Rea had a successful operation to repair a cruciate ligament in his right knee but 10-days after the operation he was back in hospital with an infection.

“I was told that I could be in hospital for up to six weeks receiving a course of antibiotics,” explained Jonathan Rea.

In fact he spent a fortnight in Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital. He was hoping to get a clean bill of health today Monday (November 12).

Jonathan Rea will sit-out the Qatar test session but he’s confident that he will be fully fit for the trip to Philip Island, Australia in January with the Hannspree Ten Kate Honda team.

“In the meantime I hope to go to California next month for some warm weather training,” concluded Jonathan Rea who was recently declared the personality of the British Superbike Championship in which he finished second in the championship points riding an HM Plant Honda.

Dermot James

By Dermot James