"I was delighted to Congratulate Jonathan Rea on becoming World Superbike Champion for a second successive year in such a global competitive series. To win this Championship in back to back years in such commanding style with events in as far-away places as Australia, USA, Moscow, Malaysia and Qatar at the very pinnacle of Motorcycle racing is a truly remarkable achievement and shows the real class and determination of Jonathan. Jonathan is a very talented motorcyclist who has helped put Northern Ireland on the World map, and in his unassuming manor has proved that this Country punches well above its weight in many top sports.
Northern Ireland continues to produce many talented motorcycle riders and having such successful events like the North West 200, Ulster Grand Prix and other top national events on our doorstep including at Kirkistown certainly helps to fuel the passion of spectators and competitors alike. 2017 promises to be another exciting year on the local Motorcycling scene and I have no doubt that local events will continue to attract many competitors and spectators from across the World as Northern Ireland confirms its place as a top destination for Motorsport and we all wish Jonathan well next year as he seeks to win this World Championship for a third year in a row."