Belfast Telegraph

Rea's wife on how she keeps bike champ's feet on the ground

Jonathan Rea with his wife Tatia and children Jake and Tyler
Jonathan Rea with his wife Tatia and children Jake and Tyler

By Michelle Weir

The proud wife of Superbike star Jonathan Rea has revealed how she keeps his feet firmly on the ground - despite his hat-trick of world titles.

The Ballyclare star (30) landed his third straight championship earlier this year, and is in the running for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award tomorrow.

In a BBC documentary to be broadcast on Monday night, Rea said he really appreciates his team "embracing" his Australian wife Tatia (37) and sons Jake and Tyler, aged four and two, who accompany him as he races on the international circuit.

Speaking on Jonathan Rea: Three In A Row Tatia revealed: "We keep it normal."

She is quick to remind Rea that "life doesn't stop" just because he has won races.

"I don't say it quite like that, but he definitely gets the message and pulls his socks up and comes back to us."

But she admitted that she has to "let him have his moment", adding: "When he has done something amazing, he lives in a bit of a bubble for 24 hours, so I give him his moment then.

"I have to pop his bubble because I have to get him back to reality and help me out."

Commenting on his Kawasaki team, Rea said: "To see how welcoming my team are, to understand that, means a lot me, to embrace them as part of my team and encourage that, I really appreciate that from their side.

"My mechanics are the second fathers to my kids."

At first Rea, a past pupil, of Larne Grammar School, was reluctant to bring his family on the circuit.

But now that he is "part of the club", he said that having them nearby helps his performance on the track.

He said: "I was much more relaxed as a person and settled when they were around. My results reflected that."

He said that before becoming a father he wondered why other racers brought their children to the track, believing that it was "not the place" for them.

He added: "Now I have become part of the club, I understand completely where they are coming from."

Tatia added: "When Jonathan joined Kawasaki, we had this document given to us, the rules of the team - no kids in the garage, no wives in the garage. It was quite overwhelming.

"To be told that in black and white print was quite heavy.

"From the word go Jonathan went in and was winning and was like: 'What are they going to say if you pop in with the boys? It is not affecting my life and my racing'.

"We go in and the mechanics are open arms.

"They tend to feel that Jonathan overthinks things sometimes.

"We break up the stress of what he is experiencing sometimes on the track. We keep it normal."

Rea admitted there are difficult moments too, adding: "You are maybe at dinner and you can hear an important meeting with the Japanese technical guys two tables away and Tyler decides to have a meltdown and food goes everywhere.

"At that moment you think maybe they shouldn't be there, but we are clever enough to shelter them when they should not be there, but it is also so important for me that they are there."

Tatia added: "It is an exceptional quality that he has.

"I do not know anyone in the industry who is able to be such an incredible human being as well as being such an aggressive racer, to be able to switch from winning races to come back to the motorhome.

"He will do little bits and pieces.

"He is not 100% with us, but it is just nice he can have those moments with the boys. It keeps him real."

Earlier this year Rea was awarded an MBE for services to motorcycle racing.

Jonathan Rea: Three In A Row will be broadcast on BBC 1 on Monday night

Belfast Telegraph


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