Michael Rutter

Road racing – Rutter wins Lightweight TT

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Michael Rutter took his first TT win since 2013, and his fifth in total, when he won the Lightweight TT race at the 2017 Isle of Man TT races, giving the Italian Paton manufacturer their first ever win around the Mountain Course. He set a new lap record of 118.645mph (1:16.19.324), beating Ivan Lintin’s time for the four lap race from last year.

Rutter took the lead from the beginning of the race and was never caught, eventually beating Martin Jessopp (Riders Motorcycles Kawasaki) by 8.8s with Peter Hickman taking yet another TT podium this week in third, this time on the KMR/IEG Kawasaki.

Rutter led through Glen Helen on the opening lap from his Paton team-mate Stefano Bonetti, the gap just one second with Jessopp only fourth tenths of a second further back in third. 2015 and 2016 race winner Ivan Lintin slotted into third ahead of Daniel Cooper and Hickman.

Passing through Ramsey first time around, Rutter had increased his lead slightly to 3.4s with Bonetti still holding onto second some 2.1s clear of Jessopp. Lintin was a further 2.9s back in fourth as Hickman moved up to fifth ahead of Cooper.

An opening lap of 118.955mph gave Rutter a 4.4s lead over Bonetti but Jessopp was now only one second behind as he looked to better this third place from last year’s race. Lintin was still in fourth but now 4.6s behind Jessopp as Hickman and Cooper maintained fifth and sixth.

Rutter added a further half second to his lead on the run to Glen Helen but it was Jessopp who was now up to second as Bonetti battled on track with Hickman and James Cowton. There was also a change in sixth as Michael Dunlop moved ahead of Cooper.

Coming into the pits for the fuel stop, a superb second lap of 120.362mph enabled Rutter to pull further clear, his lead now 10.5s from Jessopp as Bonetti’s good run ended with retirement at the Creg ny Baa. Lintin had a small advantage over Hickman and Cooper who was now up to fifth as Dunlop dropped back to seventh.

However, a helmet change by Lintin lost him valuable time whilst Rutter also lost time at the pits and, sure enough, through Glen Helen on lap three his lead over Jessopp was down to 2.8s. Hickman moved up to third at Lintin’s expense with Cooper in fifth and Cowton up to sixth.

Rutter immediately responded and almost doubled his lead on the high speed run to Ballaugh, his advantage going back up to 5.4s. Meanwhile, Hickman was now looking secure in third with a gap of over 21 seconds to Lintin but Gary Johnson was out of luck with his second retirement of the day.

At the head of the field, Rutter was pressing on ahead and going into the fourth and final lap, he’d increased his lead to 7.9s and was only a few machines length behind Jessopp on the road. Hickman was over 25 seconds behind in third with similar gaps between Lintin, Cooper and Dunlop but newcomer Adam McLean was forced to retire from an excellent ninth at Ballaugh.

Rutter had no such problems and, circulating with Jessopp on the road, he took the win by 8.8s with the latter securing his second TT podium and best ever result. Hickman’s stunning week continued with his fourth podium from four starts, giving team owner and former race winner Ryan Farquhar plenty to celebrate.

Lintin was unable to make it three in a row and had to settle for fourth as Cooper got his best TT result in fifth with Brookes doing the same in sixth. Riding the second KMR/IEG Kawasaki, he relegated Dunlop to seventh on the final lap with Cowton, Michael Sweeney and last year’s Manx Grand Prix winner Jamie Hodson rounding out the top ten.

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BSB – I can’t believe it’s Rutter as BSB legend signs for Gearlink Kawasaki

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BSB veteran Michael Rutter is set to return to racing this weekend at Brands Hatch after signing a deal with the Gearlink Kawasaki team.

After the sudden departure of rider Joe Burns after the season opener at Donington the Gearlink Kawasaki squad have turned to the experienced Rutter in a bid to improve their ailing ZX-10R.

The 42-year-old multiple BSB race winner and four-time Isle of Man TT winner is delighted to secure a ride after failing to land a ride in the close season.

He said: “It feels good to be back this weekend, especially after being at Donington Park and not racing. I have raced in the championship for so long that it felt terrible not to be out at the first round.

“The opportunity came up with Gearlink Kawasaki and we know it is going to be hard work, but hopefully together we can move forward. I have my experiences from previous seasons that I hope will help – we are a small team but we want to move forward.

“I am a bit nervous as I haven’t even ridden the bike yet and everyone else has testing and a round under their belts, but I am looking forward to being back out there.”

“The team have said that they wanted someone with a bit of experience to help find some direction with the bike and I was available,” said Rutter. “I am not stupid, I know how difficult it will be and I have to be realistic but I am not doing this to mess about. I am glad to back in the BSB fray and we will start by aiming to get the bike into the top 20.”

Road racing – Rutter to race BMW at TT

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Four time TT Race winner Michael Rutter has signed to race for the Team Penz13.com BMW Racing squad on the roads this season.

Rutter will be equipped with a full spec superbike and a stocker, both based on the 2015 BMW S1000RR, and tested both bikes at a recent test at Almeira in Spain.

Rutter said he was confident he had the best bike under him. He said: “I am very happy to ride for the team even though it looked a bit like a long shot as the team is based in Germany. Obviously they have the best bikes available for this job and I am pretty confident that we can put the things together the way I need them and being competitive. I am not finished yet – especially not with the North West and Macau where I would like to add on another win even though the competition isn’t getting any easier.”

“The TT is a bit of different story but I am looking forward to go around the Mountain course with the bikes I will have and the team behind me, and I’m targeting top six finishes. There is still a lot of work to do at all ends for the team and myself. But I can fully focus on the job now after everything has been sorted.”