The six-time Superbike World Champion, who received the MBE for service to motorcycle racing in 2017, joins fellow Northern Ireland rider Joey Dunlop as the recipient of the two prestigious Royal Honors.
Rea said: “I am extremely grateful and deeply honored to receive an OBE on the Queen’s New Year Honors List. Although it was a pleasant surprise, I am very happy that my sport has been recognized and I am very proud to represent Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom in motorsport across the world.
“It’s an amazing time for me and my family who are always there to support me and this is reflected in the whole Kawasaki Racing Team, as well as in the support of my friends and fans all over the world.
“Internationally, it shows that Northern Ireland is indeed the land of motorcycling,” he added.
“From road racing to World Superbike and Moto GP we are really above our weight, so it is a real privilege to receive an honor like this in recognition of my racing achievements.”
Rea is the most successful rider in World Superbike history, winning six straight titles from 2015-2020. The 34-year-old has been narrowly edged this year by Turkey’s Toprak Razgatlioglu after a memorable title fight that s ‘took place until the final tournament in Indonesia in November.
The County Antrim man claimed a 100th World Superbike victory in the 2021 season opener at Motorland Aragon in Spain and went on to claim his 200th grandstand in Most, Czech Republic.
A revered figure in world motorcycling, Rea is one of Northern Ireland’s greatest sportsmen.
And the 34-year-old is not yet finished, with Rea and his Kawasaki Racing Team back to fight for a magnificent seventh world crown in 2022.
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