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Jonathan Rea awarded Freedom of the Borough of Antrim and Newtownabbey

The World Superbike star posed with a flock of sheep to celebrate...

Jonathan Rea awarded Freedom of the Borough of Antrim and Newtownabbey

FOUR-TIME World Superbike Champion Jonathan Rea MBE has been awarded the Honorary Freedom of the Borough of Antrim and Newtownabbey in recognition of his outstanding services to sport.

The 31-year-old was handed the honour in front of family and fans during a ceremony on Tuesday in Mossley Mill. He joins fellow sporting greats Sir Anthony McCoy and Dr Willie John McBride in receiving the accolade.

The Northern Irish racing star posed in his leathers with a flock of sheep to celebrate…

Speaking following the ceremony, Rea said: “Our bike is working very well this winter and I feel more comfortable and confident than ever.

“Five-in-a-row - high fives! That's the target this season.”

“I feel really good this off-season. It's been productive and I've had a lot of time at home .

“We go testing next week in Spain and then Portugal - I feel more ready than ever.”

Of the honour, he added: “To be made a freeman of the borough is a humbling experience and a significant honour for which I am extremely grateful and which I shall continue to treasure.

“I want to thank all those who not only have taken the time to join me here on this special occasion, but have supported me and travelled with me at my races all over the world.”

Rea is also tipped to win the prestigious Irish motorcyclist of the year honour for the fourth year running.

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