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WorldSBK champion Rea runner-up in BBC Sports Personality

Sunday, December 17 2017

Treble WorldSBK champion Jonathan Rea has secured the runner-up spot in the 2018 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

Finishing less than 3,000 votes behind the award winner, athlete Sir Mo Farah, Rea's second place is the highest finish for a motorcyclist in the prestigious contest since Sir John Surtees won the prize in 1959. Barry Sheene secured third place in 1977.

Rea made a grand entrance to the show, riding his Kawasaki World Superbike into the Liverpool Echo Arena in front of 10,000 people. He made a huge impression on the British public, with his interview with Gabby Logan portraying him as not only a supreme sportsman, but a big family man too.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live afterwards, Rea commented: "I was surprised, big time! Really shocked. 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.

"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."

Rea will be in action at Donington Park on 25-27 May for the only British round of World Superbikes. Tickets are now on sale at earlybird prices until 31 January 2018, with weekend tickets available at £45. For more information or to purchase, click here.