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rac honours cal crutchlow's historic win

Cal Crutchlow was awarded the Royal Automobile Club’s coveted Torrens Trophy at the Pall Mall clubhouse for being first British rider to win a premier class World Championship Motorcycle Grand Prix in 35 years. The trophy has only been awarded nine times in its history and only when the club feels that the achievement justifies it.
 
‘I feel very privileged that the Royal Automobile Club considers me worthy of it,’ said 31-year-old Crutchlow. ‘It’s taken a long time and a lot of hard work and it’s an honour to be recognised by such well-respected industry figures.’
 
Barrie Baxter, chairman of the Torrens Trophy Nominations Committee, said: ‘Cal Crutchlow is one of the most fearless riders in MotoGP. Last season, Crutchlow became the first Brit to win a premier class race since Barry Sheene in 1981 when he triumphed in the Czech Grand Prix at Brno. It gives me great pleasure to present the 2016 Torrens Trophy to Cal in recognition of his outstanding achievement.’

Crutchlow started his motorcycling career when he was 11 years old and made rapid progress, winning the 1999 UK Junior Challenge. Two years later he claimed the Aprilia RS125 Challenge crown, then graduated to the British Supersport Championship. After winning the title in 2006, Cal moved up to British Superbikes, first with Rizla Suzuki and then with HM Plant Honda, with which he took two BSB victories.

Cal burst on to the international stage in 2009, winning the World Supersport Championship with the factory Yamaha squad. He spent the following year in World Superbikes, taking three race wins. In 2011 he graduated to MotoGP, earning Rookie of the Year honours. For the past two seasons, Crutchlow has ridden a Honda for the LCR team. Last August he won the Czech Grand Prix to become the first Briton to win a premier class motorcycle Grand Prix in 35 years. He followed that historic success with a second victory at the Australian Grand Prix.

The shortlist of Torrens Trophy contenders was announced recently at Motorcycle Live, with other nominees including Jonathan Rea and Michael Dunlop. Rea rode another faultless season in World Superbikes and successfully defended his 2015 title, becoming the first man since Carl Fogarty to score back-to-back championship victories in the class. Road racer Dunlop won another two Isle of Man TTs last June and raised the Mountain circuit lap record to an astonishing 133.962 mph.
 
The club’s Torrens Trophy Nominations Committee consists of chairman and ex-bike racer Barrie Baxter, Royal Automobile Club member Ben Cussons, well-respected motorcycle journalist Matt Oxley, former racer and commentator Steve Parrish, Club member Richard Bourne (son of motorcycle journalist Arthur Bourne, in whose memory the Trophy is awarded) and new to the committee is Queen of Bikers Maria Costello MBE, who has held the Guinness World Record for being the fastest woman to lap the Isle of Man TT course.
 
The Torrens Trophy
The Royal Automobile Club has always had a close association with the motorcycling world.  The Club formed the Auto Cycle Club in 1903, which went on to become the Auto Cycle Union in 1947.  The first Tourist Trophy race was held on the Isle of Man in 1905 for cars – two years before the first TT for motorcycles. 
 
The Torrens Trophy recognises an individual or organisation considered to have made an outstanding contribution to the cause of safe and skillful motorcycling in the United Kingdom OR to have made an outstanding contribution of technical excellence to further the cause of motorcycling in the UK OR to have shown outstanding skill in international motorcycling sporting events in the United Kingdom.
 
The Torrens Trophy was first awarded in 1978 in memory of Arthur Bourne, a motorcycling journalist who wrote a column under the pseudonym Torrens. Arthur Bourne was also a Vice-Chairman of the Royal Automobile Club.
 
Previous winners of the Torrens Trophy include:

  • 1989 BMW in recognition of their contribution to motorcycle safety through their development of their anti-lock braking system.
  • 1998 Ian Kerr of the Metropolitan Police for 20 years of tireless work in promoting safe and responsible motorcycling.
  • 2008 World Superbike Champion James Toseland for his immense contribution to raising the profile of motorcycle racing in this country.
  • 2013 Tom Sykes for being crowned the fifteenth World Superbike Champion, the fourth from Great Britain and only the second rider to win for Kawasaki in the series for twenty years.
  • 2014 Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne for his unique achievement of securing a fourth British Superbike Championship.
  • 2015 Ian Hutchinson for his outstanding determination, courage and overcoming adversity to win multiple TTs.
  • 2016 Cal Crutchlow for being the first British rider to win a MotoGP race in 35 years.

www.royalautomobileclub.co.uk/motoring

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