Jonathan Rea relishing prospect of racing in Northern Ireland World Superbike round

Jonathan Rea became the first rider ever to win the World Superbike Championship in three successive seasons in 2017.
Jonathan Rea became the first rider ever to win the World Superbike Championship in three successive seasons in 2017.

Three-time World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea says he is ‘so excited’ by the news that Northern Ireland will host a round of the series from as early as 2019.

A three-year deal has been struck between WSBK organisers Dorna and Manna Developments to bring the championship to Northern Ireland.

Kawasaki's Jonathan Rea in action during pre-season testing.

Kawasaki's Jonathan Rea in action during pre-season testing.

Construction on a new £30m circuit is currently underway on the former clay pits site in Coalisland, Co Tyrone, and Rea is understandably thrilled by the prospect of racing in front of his home fans.

The Kawasaki rider said: “I’m so excited about this news because motorcycling in Northern Ireland has a huge heritage, right through from Joey Dunlop to myself and Eugene Laverty.

“I’m very curious to see how the track is going to look, but I’m sure it will be very well attended because the fans over there love their bikes. I can’t wait to get the chance to go there in 2019, and it’s an incredible way to nurture young talent,” he added.

“I can’t wait to be involved and to fly the flag for Northern Ireland in this new adventure, and it would be nice to create a circuit that many people talk about as the best in the world.”