Gino Rea’s incredible track comeback in the FIM Endurance World Championship from serious head injuries has earned him the prestigious Anthony Delhalle EWC Spirit Trophy for the 24 Heures Motos.
Rea, who was badly hurt in a crash during practice for the 43rd Coca-Cola Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Race last August, has fought a gruelling battle to recover and start on the road to full fitness.
He was a special guest at the EWC season opener in Le Mans last weekend. After receiving a guard of honour from the EWC riders and their teams, Rea set out on a highly emotional parade lap shortly before the 46th 24 Heures Motos got underway on Saturday afternoon.
Rea was chosen as the recipient of the Anthony Delhalle EWC Spirit Trophy for his unwavering determination not to give up in face of great adversity.
Delhalle won the 24 Heures Motos on two occasions – and featured in an FIM Endurance World Championship title-winning line-up five times – but lost his life in a testing accident at the start of 2017 season.
His wife and two young children were present at Le Mans to present Rea with the award, which is presented at rounds of the EWC to honour the memory of the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team rider from France.
Briton Rea was part of the F.C.C. TSR Honda France line-up that finished third in last year’s 24 Heures Motos. He completed his parade lap on a Honda road bike in F.C.C. TSR Honda France colours, while former team-mates Mike Di Meglio and Josh Hook – along with Rea’s replacement Alan Techer – used Rea’s ongoing recovery as a source of inspiration in their dominant victory in the 46th 24 Heures Motos.