It's never too late.
Six-time WSBK champion Jonathan Rea decided that he wanted to officially become a licensed U.K. road rider in 2020. Of course, you know what happened next. Compulsory lockdowns changed many people’s plans, and being one of the fastest racers in the world didn’t make Rea immune. His plans, like those of the rest of the world, went on hold for an indeterminate amount of time.
Now that it’s 2021 and vaccine rollouts and virus mitigation efforts in the U.K. have resulted in lockdown easement, Rea was finally able to take his written theory test. Thankfully, he passed. When he first spoke about an earlier license attempt, he shared that he’d failed the written test back on the Isle of Man. It seems that extra time to study has done him a world of good, as it was no problem this time around.
Next, though, was fulfillment of the CBT (compulsory basic training) requirement, which Rea decided to film for his YouTube channel. Rea’s wife, Tati, said to just imagine how the instructor will react when Rea shows up to train, and she’s right. Imagine how awkward and strange it would be if you were that trainer.
Thankfully, Rea always seems like a pretty laid-back character in interviews and such, which seems like it could only work well to defuse strange situations like that. Since he’d passed the written exam, he was able to go 60 mph behind the trainer to get to their training spot, where you get to watch Rea maneuver carefully around a series of cones. If you’ve taken a basic motorcycle training course—CBT or otherwise—you'll no doubt find the process comfortingly familiar.
At the end, Rea noted that he realized he was quite spoiled with tire warmers all the time in racing. Taking off from a cold start and jumping up to 60mph on wet public roads, he said, made him more nervous than he expected to be. Both the trainer and Rea got to the training ground in as many pieces as they’d left in, so that’s the important thing.
Now that he has his CBT completed, the next step is to go do the test to get his full road license. Rea said he plans to document that portion for YouTube as well. He expects it to go well, but also said that who knows, he could fail it and it could be hilarious. Although he already has one quite successful career, it’s clear he’s no YouTube slouch, either.