Superb fourth for Rutter in Superstock TT
Michael Rutter overcame the disappointment of a retirement in Monday morning’s Isle of Man Supersport race to take a brilliant fourth place in the afternoon’s Superstock TT race with the Bathams/SMT Racing rider also posting his personal best lap of the Mountain Course at 131.118mph.
Conditions on the island were again perfect with clear blue skies and warm sun but Michael didn’t have much to enjoy in the four-lap Supersport race when he stopped just seven miles into the opening lap. Having slowed through the yellow flags at Greeba, which were being displayed for Peter Hickman who had stopped, the Bridgnorth rider noticed water on his visor and he pulled into retire the Kawasaki ZX-6R at Ballacraine.
With the four-lap Superstock race taking place in the afternoon, Michael was keen to make amends and although his opening lap of 129.874mph placed him seventh, he was only two seconds adrift of fourth placed Dean Harrison and this set the tone for the remainder of the race.
Second time around, Michael lapped slightly quicker at 129.986mph and this saw him jump up to fifth although positions were still close. Indeed, the positions between Michael, Gary Johnson, Lee Johnston and John McGuinness were changing between each commentary point with the time gaps also fluctuating.
Heading into the final 37 and ¾ miles, Michael was in sixth but, enjoying a good dice on the roads with eventual second place rider Dean Harrison, he piled on the coals on the final lap and with his best ever lap of the Mountain Course, 131.118mph, he took a brilliant fourth place at the chequered flag.
“I was a bit gutted with the 600cc race as I was looking forward to a solid ride but when I slowed down for the yellow flags at Greeba, I noticed water on my visor and so my race was over before it had begun. It looks like the head gasket has gone but it’s just one of those things and I was able to get back out in the afternoon for the Superstock race. I was disappointed with my first lap though and when I saw ‘P7’ on one of my signals, I started to think it just wasn’t working for me.”
“Dean came by me at Parliament Square and he actually hit me which almost had us both off but it woke me up and from there on in I had a good, strong ride. I could see from his signals that he was in second or third and although I was quicker than him in some places, he was quicker than me in others so I sat behind him until the last lap when I tried to pass him at Parliament Square. There was a backmarker in front of us and I nearly took all three of us down!”
“I’m glad I pulled my finger out to pull myself up to fourth and to lap in excess of 131mph is very pleasing especially as we had to slow through yellow flags at the end of the Cronk y Voddy, losing a good few seconds. I had a slight issue with the gearshifter not quite working properly when I was in first gear but aside from that the bike was a great so a big thanks to the Bathams/SMT Racing team for another good result at the TT.”
Michael’s back in action on Wednesday for the second Supersport race and also the Lightweight where he’ll be riding Ryan Farquhar’s SGS International KMR Kawasaki.
Picture Credit Double Red