Belfast Telegraph

Watch: Jonathan Rea explains why he might be worth a pound to win BBC Sports Personality of the Year

We put the odds to the three-time world champion and he explained why he might have a chance.

Gareth Hanna

By Gareth Hanna

Jonathan Rea isn't normally one for a flutter but he might make an exception after his third successive World Superbikes title.

The Ballyclare man won the opening race at Magny-Cours in France on Saturday afternoon to secure the 2017 crown and almost as soon as his front wheel touched the line, social media was awash with calls for Rea to be nominated for the 2017 BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

He didn't make the shortlist in either 2015 or 2016, despite grabbing the world crown. So will the judges include him this time round? We asked Betfair what the chances are. They rate him at 5/1 to be nominated and a long-shot at 200/1 to win the title. Rea? We'll he thinks it's worth a small punt.

"200/1 to win Sports Personality of the year?" he repeated, eyebrows aloft. "Wow. 5/1 to (be nominated)? They take bets on that, do they? I'm not a betting man but that's pretty cool. 200/1 to win, eh? Might be worth a pound, eh?"

Sports Personality of the Year award.jpg
Betfair's odds for the 2017 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

There hasn't been a motorcyclist on the list in a decade but Rea reckons if he made it through to the public vote, he might stand a chance.

"I'm aware (of the talk) of it because of social media," he said. "I get the same mentions on Twitter or whatever and that's really nice that people regard me in that level. Of course, Sports Personality is decided by nominees and a panel of judges. They will decide who they see fit.

"What would be really nice - if I could be nominated it would be awesome for motorcycling. The last motorcyclist to be nominated was James Toseland (in 2007), the British rider that won the Championship two times. He finished fourth overall in the whole vote so it shows that the biking community got behind him and he had a lot of support.

"I wouldn't only have the biking community behind me but the whole of Northern Ireland. Who knows? It would be nice but I'm not doing it for awards. I do it for my own personal goals and for my family. I would be honour to share the nominee list with people like, I'm sure, Chris Froome or Lewis Hamilton or people like that. It would be really special."

We'll have more from our interview with the World Superbike Champion throughout the week.

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