Jonathan Rea and Michael Dunlop shortlisted for prestigious Torrens Trophy honour

Hawk Racing BMW's Michael Dunlop celebrates winning the Pokerstars Senior TT at the 2016 Isle of Man TT with runner up Ian Hutchinson (Tyco BMW ) and third placed John McGuinness (Honda).

Hawk Racing BMW's Michael Dunlop celebrates winning the Pokerstars Senior TT at the 2016 Isle of Man TT with runner up Ian Hutchinson (Tyco BMW ) and third placed John McGuinness (Honda).

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Northern Ireland’s Michael Dunlop and Jonathan Rea have been shortlisted for the prestigious Torrens Trophy by the Royal Automobile Club.

Kawasaki rider Rea claimed back-to-back World Superbike titles after another magnificent season, becoming the first rider since Carl Fogarty in 1999 to retain the crown.

Jonathan Rea celebrates his second World Superbike title in Qatar.

Jonathan Rea celebrates his second World Superbike title in Qatar.

On the roads, Ballymoney man Dunlop raised his tally of Isle of Man TT wins to 13 this year following a sublime double in the Superbike and Senior races. The 27-year-old also set a new outright lap record around the Mountain Course at 133.962mph.

The Ulster duo join MotoGP rider Cal Crutchlow on the final shortlist for the coveted accolade, which was announced at Motorcycle Live at the NEC in Birmingham on Friday.

The overall winner will be revealed at a ceremony on Tuesday, January 24 at the Club’s historic Pall Mall clubhouse.

Crutchlow became the UK’s first premier class GP winner since the great Barry Sheene in 1981 when he won at Brno in the Czech Republic. The 31-year-old then doubled his tally with a stunning win at Phillip Island in Australia.

Barrie Baxter, Chairman of the Torrens Trophy Nominations Committee said: “We are delighted to have teamed up once again with Motorcycle Live.

“It seems only appropriate to announce the contenders of one of the most prestigious industry trophies at the UK’s largest bike show. The Torrens Trophy celebrates an individual or organisation considered to have made an outstanding contribution to motor cycling in Britain.”

Each year the Royal Automobile Club awards a series of historic trophies and medals to individuals and organisations, celebrating and recognising outstanding achievements, technical skills and innovation in the motoring and motorsport industries.

Last year’s Torrens Trophy recipient was Ian Hutchinson, who fought back from a career-threatening leg injury to return to the top of the podium at the Isle of Man TT.

The Club’s Torrens Trophy Nominations Committee consists of Chairman and ex-bike racer Barrie Baxter, Royal Automobile Club member Ben Cussons, respected motorcycle journalist Mat Oxley, former racer and commentator Steve Parrish, Club member Richard Bourne (son of motorcycle journalist, Arthur Bourne, whom the Trophy is awarded in memory of) and new committee member Maria Costello, who has held the Guinness World Record for being the fastest woman to lap the Isle of Man TT course.