Jonathan Rea fails to make BBC SPOTY final shortlist once again

Despite three more titles in the three years since finishing second in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, Jonathan Rea is snubbed again in 2020

Jonathan Rea - Kawasaki Racing Team 1200

The BBC has announced the six nominees for the annual Sports Personality of the Year award with no room yet again for Jonathan Rea despite maintaining his unbroken run of WorldSBK Championship titles in 2020.

The Northern Irishman made headlines in 2017 by finishing a shock second place in the public televote in recognition of a third consecutive WorldSBK Championship title.

However, despite going on to win his fourth, fifth and now sixth WorldSBK title in the ensuing three seasons, once more Rea’s name was not among the final six nominees who will go forward to compete for the prestigious annual prize that recognises a year of British sporting achievement.

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Instead, Lewis Hamilton (F1), Tyson Fury (Boxing), Hollie Doyle (Horse Racing), Stuart Broad (Cricket), Jordan Henderson (Football) and Ronnie O’Sullivan (Snooker) twill compete for the trophy on December 20.

One of Northern Ireland’s most beloved sporting stars, Rea defied the odds in 2017 to emerge in second position, defeating the likes of Anthony Joshua, Adam Peaty and Lewis Hamilton. By the end of the evening, the Kawasaki rider’s 80,000 votes were only 3,000 shy of winner Mo Farah.

Only three sportsmen from motorcycle racing have finished inside the top three since the inaugural broadcast back in 1954, and only one - John Surtees - has won it, the legendary two and four-wheel champion winning in 1959. As well as Rea’s second place in 2017, Barry Sheene finished third in 1977.

Though motorcycle racing has barely been a footnote in SPOTY coverage in some years, on the rare occasions a rider is recognised on the night, the famously tight-knit motorcycle community does its bit to help. This was demonstrated in 2007 too when James Toseland fell just 700 votes shy of nabbing a trophy for third.