Jonathan Rea: Northern Ireland fans gave me 'extra power' in world title pursuit

Jonathan Rea has a huge fanbase in Northern Ireland.
Jonathan Rea has a huge fanbase in Northern Ireland.

World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea says his passionate home fans gave him ‘extra power’ in his quest for a record fourth title.

The Ulster star matched Carl Fogarty’s all-time achievement of four world crowns after wrapping up the championship at Magny-Cours in France last weekend with a dominant victory in race one.

World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea soaks up the adulation from the crowds at Magny-Cours in France following his fourth title success last weekend.

World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea soaks up the adulation from the crowds at Magny-Cours in France following his fourth title success last weekend.

Rea capped a memorable weekend by also winning the second race to claim his fourth double in a row, which leaves him unbeaten since the American round of the series at Laguna Seca in July.

The 31-year-old made history with his fourth consecutive title triumph in France and Rea has issued a message of thanks to his fans in Northern Ireland, who have followed him around the globe to cheer him to victory.

“The support has been massive and I felt it also from my first world title, but it has just kept increasing,” he said.

“I always felt like short circuit racing in Northern Ireland was suppressed by road racing in recent times, but since my world championships, I think that has changed.

“So many people are travelling to races all over, from Italy to Spain and the USA, but one of the best-attended races was Portimao. It was unbelievable and it’s so cool to see that,” Rea added.

“It gives me extra power when I see all the Northern Ireland flags or Northern Ireland football shirts, or my own JR65 merchandise; it’s an incredible feeling.

“Social media has a big role to play now as well because all these fans can reach out to you and show you their support, and I’m really blessed to have such great fans and loyal support.”

The Kawasaki rider was in Belfast on Tuesday to launch his autobiography, Dream. Believe. Achieve.

The book goes on sale on Thursday, October 4. Rea will be signing copies at Eason’s in Coleraine from 11.30am on Saturday and later at Eason’s, Donegall Place, in Belfast from 3.30pm.