The British rider was involved in a terrible crash at the Suzuka 8 Hours and was immediately airlifted to hospital, where it was confirmed he had fallen into a coma.

But encouraging news has slowly been revealed by his family ever since.

On Monday morning, nine days after his crash, former rider Terry Rymer who now acts as Rea’s manager revealed a message that he had received from Rea’s family.

It read: “Gino has made our day, David his dad and Elaine his mum have said.

“We were by his side and, as soon as we spoke, he opened his eyes and looked right at me, then at Elaine.

“We could see he was pleased to see us and tried to talk.

“We could hold his hand, he was squeezing ours.

“Gino is communicating by raising his eyebrows.

“Shannon, his sister, and Bella, his wife, went in next. They said ‘blink twice if you understand me’ and he did!

“The doctor said he didn’t respond to any nurses but was amazed when he saw the response to the family. He said it’s a great sign.”