The atmosphere was revving up in Ballyclare last night as triple World Superbike Champion Jonathan Rea returned home for a celebration event.
Organised by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council and hosted by Stephen Watson, the celebration event took place at Sixmile Leisure Centre and was attended by over 1,000 well-wishers.
As well as the many Jonathan Rea fans, guests also included friends, family and local motorcycle club members.
Jonathan was overwhelmed with the reception he received, saying: “I am blown away by the amount of people who have turned out this evening.
“I love coming home to Ballyclare and seeing all the familiar faces again. I would like to thank all those who not only came here tonight but who take the time to travel and support me at my races all over the world.”
Speaking at the event, Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Cllr Paul Hamill commented: “Jonathan has achieved something amazing and well and truly put Northern Ireland on the world stage once again.
“We are extremely proud to have him as one of Northern Ireland’s sporting ambassadors and there is no doubt that Jonathan is a great role model to many young people within our borough.”
Cllr Hamill added; “It is my great pleasure to welcome Jonathan back to the borough, only a short time since his second championship and we are extremely privileged he has taken the time out of his hectic schedule to allow us to celebrate his outstanding achievements.
“On behalf of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council I would like to wish Jonathan every success for the rest of the season and next year.”