Jonathan Rea finally ‘king of the road’ with bike licence

He might be the undisputed king of World Superbikes but Jonathan Rea was anything but king of the road... until now.

Saturday, 17th July 2021, 8:29 am
Six times world Superbike champion Jonathan Rea has just qualified to drive on the road

The six-time world champion, and most successful Superbike competitor ever, has been strictly track based since his first outing at the British Superbike Championship as a teenager in 2005.

However, that all changed this week when he sat and passed his motorcycle driving test at home in Co Antrim.

His journey from learner to road legal has been documented on camera and posted in a serious of Youtube videos.

Rea recorded himself as he practised various bike handling skills and the necessary basic roadcraft man.

In one of the first videos he posted, the 34-year-old revealed he “didn’t think it would be so difficult to drive on the road”.

In conversation with his riding instructor just before heading to the test centre, Rea asked: “Do you think I will go straight through it?”

He was pleased with the reassuring reply: “I think so.... absolutely.”

Recording his thoughts immediately after the test, a relieved Rea said: “[The instructor] said I was pretty faultless to be fair.

“Thanks Phil, you made me feel pretty relaxed the whole time and I wasn’t too stressed.”

Rea also thanked his training instructor Stephen from Moto Training NI for his expertise in helping him making the grade.

In a televised interview with journalist Eamonn Mallie earlier this year, Rea revealed that had previously failed his theory test, and that the Covid pandemic lockdown had delayed his hopes of getting a road licence.

“I actually failed my theory test once. I did a theory test when I lived on the Isle Of Man and I failed it,” he said.

“At the start of lockdown last year I had filled out all the details to do my theory test in Northern Ireland, in Belfast, then I had a notification to say that the testing centre closed down.”

The world champion said was “pretty embarrassing” that he couldn’t drive a bike to the shop.

“I want to get my licence, I had this cool idea of documenting the journey from theory test to doing my practical, passing a CBT and putting it on YouTube or whatever

“It’s pretty embarrassing that I’m six-times world champion but I can’t ride down to the local shops on a motorbike,” he said.