Jonathan Rea gets BBC Sports Personality of the Year nomination

WSBK champion shortlisted after thousands signed petition

THREE-TIME WSBK champion Jonathan Rea is a contender for the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year 2017 after being shortlisted for the prestigious award.

The Northern Irish racer, who made history in September by sealing his third consecutive WSBK title, will go up against 11 other sports stars including F1’s Lewis Hamilton and athletics’ Sir Mo Farah in a televised public vote BBC One on December 17.

Yesterday’s announcement of the shortlist, chosen by a panel of judges, came days after the BBC was handed a petition with 10,000 signatures calling for Rea to be included.

Recent former winners include Andy Murray and Sir Bradley Wiggins, while the last motorcycle racer to be shortlisted was James Toseland after winning his second WSBK title in 2007.

The accolade would top an amazing year for Rea, who last week collected an MBE from Prince William in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

Rea said: "I'm very excited to be included in the nominations for such a prestigious event and it really is the icing on the cake after a great year in Superbikes.

"Right now, I feel like I'm in a dream, and I never imagined I would have won three World Championships in a row.

"I'm very happy to represent my sport as it's been a decade since a motorcyclist has been nominated so to be recognised with all other mainstream sports is something I'm so proud of.

"As a fan of sport, I've grown up watching Sports Personality of the Year on television and now to be nominated for the main award is pretty awesome."

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