Jonathan Rea may have made a name for himself as a sporting icon but he remains a grounded, down-to-earth family man.
Despite jetting all over the world, surrounded by adoring fans, he is always accompanied by his wife Tatia and two sons, Jake (4) and Tyler (2), who make sure his feet are firmly on the ground.
“Sometimes I feel overwhelmed but I still feel very grounded,” he admitted. “I don’t feel famous. I don’t look at myself like that. The thing that comes with success is that you become very busy and you don’t have a normal life anymore.
“Whilst I sometimes flirt with the idea of being a star, I like having a normal life. With experience I have learnt to say ‘no’ to things because your life could be swallowed up by things and you start to lose focus.”
During the off season Jonathan spends time with his Australian wife Tatia and sons Jake and Tyler in their home in Phillip Island, which lies just off Australia’s southern coast. The family also have a base on the Isle of Man, as well as in Northern Ireland, where Jonathan always calls ‘home’. “My racing is world wide but home in my heart is in Northern Ireland.”
During the racing season, the family travel the world together. Although with eldest son Jake now reaching school age, the family are talking about putting down permanent roots, something that will be difficult for the dedicated father.
“Most off seasons we go to Australia, which is nice,” continued Jonathan, “It is the perfect setting to go and rest and get ready for the season ahead.
“I struggle to be calm if my family are not around. Anybody with kids knows a two and four year old are anything but calm and travelling through airports is chaotic but its is all we know and they take a lot of my stresses away.
“At times I could be criticised for analysing things too much but with my family around I leave that to the people around me. My family is a good distraction.
“Right now we are looking at having a permanent base. Our oldest son starts P1 in September and we are going through the motions for that now. He is such a clever individual and a lot of that is down to the places he has been. I am worried about losing that a little bit with him.”