A PETITION calling for Jonathan Rea to be named on the Sports Personality of the Year shortlist has been handed to the BBC by some of the 10,000 motorcyclists who signed it.
A group of the World Superbike champion’s supporters rode to the BBC’s headquarters in Salford, Manchester, to deliver the petition, including 2015 BSB 600 Superstock champion Ben Luxton.
Rea, who was yesterday awarded an MBE by Prince William in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace, said: “I don’t know if I am worthy or not of an award as big as BBC Sports Personality, but for others to be talking about me in this way is hugely flattering.
“I grew up watching the awards and to potentially follow in the footsteps of some of my all-time heroes like Tony McCoy and Barry McGuigan, who have both won the award, would be a dream come true.”
It said: ‘His 50th career win is nothing short of historic. We are now calling for this to be recognised on at least a national scale by the BBC, to be included with his sporting peers in what has been a fantastic year for British sport.’
It was handed over by Robin Frith of Carole Nash, the bike insurance firm that launched the petition and for which Rea acts as brand ambassador.
Rebecca Donohue, Carole Nash’s Head of Marketing, said: “We couldn’t be happier with the way supporters have got behind our e-petition. Jonathan is one of the finest sportspeople around and an overall down-to-earth bloke, so it’s only right that his achievements get the recognition they deserve.”
The shortlist is expected to be revealed next week and the winner announced on December 17.
Rea has also been shortlisted for the Royal Automobile Club’s Torrens Trophy, along with British Dakar winner Sam Sunderland and BSB star Leon Haslam.