Champion in the making

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Current World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea won his first major title in 1995.

Aged eight at the time, he won the prestigious Volvo championship and the Irish Schoolboy Scramble championship at his first attempt.

His career started in 1994, when he won the Barley Stubble Series, which is a class which gives young riders the chance to get a feel for the bikes.

In the Volvo championship he won 15 out of 30 races.

At the time the young rider said: “It is good fun but I don’t like getting beat.”

His dad Johnny said: “As long as he is happy, I will back him all the way.”

The article in November 1995 read: “Jonathan Rea looks to be a name to look out for in the future. At the minute he is the name on everyone’s lips.”