IMAGINE that, the exceedingly talented six-time world champion WorldSBK rider Jonathan Rea can’t legally ride to the shops on his Kawasaki.
You’d think that by virtue of the fact that superstar motorcycle racers can ride a motorcycle faster than 99% of the population, they should be given an honorary licence from the DVLA – kind of like how they give out honorary degrees to ‘celebrities’.
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It’s always a bit of a surprise when you hear about an immensely talented rider who can break lap records and win championships but doesn’t hold the licence to legally ride an equivalent bike on the road. So he can tear-it-up at Jerez, but can’t pop to the shop on his Kawasaki on a Sunday morning at home.
But no, they have to go down the same route as all of us. Brad Ray was reported as getting his full bike licence back in 2018, and it seems that a lot of riders will spend more of their spare time on the track getting faster. Fair enough really.
Speaking with Eamonn Mallie, one of Ireland’s most respected and well-known journalists and media personalities, Jonathan Rea said:
“I’m not sure who told you that but it would be a fact. You’ve probably got a bit of an exclusive here as well.
“People know I don’t have a licence but they don’t know that I actually failed my theory test once. I did a theory test when I lived on the Isle Of Man and I failed it. 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.
“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.”
Jonathan Rea – Six championships, but no licence
No doubt he’ll be passing the test as soon as he can, and it seems like we’ll be able to enjoy the process on his YouTube channel.
I’ll definitely be tuning in! His interview with Eamonn Mallie interview airs Tuesday night, 10:45 pm, on UTV – so you’ll be able to watch the full interview from then.