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Rutter takes superb Classic TT race victory

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Author Topic: Rutter takes superb Classic TT race victory  (Read 273 times)
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« on: September 01, 2015, 07:52:08 am »

Bathams-backed Michael Rutter enjoyed an excellent weekend of racing at the 2015 Isle of Man Festival of Motorcycling with the highlight being an excellent win in Monday afternoon’s delayed 350cc Classic TT race, which was reduced to three laps.


Riding the 350cc Ripley Land Honda, an opening lap of 100.988mph gave the Stourbridge-based rider a slender 1.9s lead over Dan Cooper and although the latter went ahead on the second lap, it was still close with only 1.5s between the two riders as they started their final lap. It was all set for a thrilling finale around the 37.73-mile course but Cooper went out at Ballacraine and Michael was able to come home a comfortable winner, aided by the fastest lap of the race at 102.356mph.


“I knew the race was close but just kept my head down,” said Michael afterwards. “I was experiencing a misfire now and again and thought it was going to stop on the final lap but fair play, it kept going. It’s a lovely bike to ride but it’s physically hard work and although I initially wanted the race to be the full four laps, I was glad it was only three!”


“You’ve got to keep these bikes going and if you can do that, you won’t be far away so I kept the revs down and concentrated as much as possible. It’s a long way round and it’s fantastic to win both for myself and the whole team. You can never complain when you’re in the number one spot around the Mountain Course.”


Later in the afternoon, he was out in the four lap Motorsport Merchandise Formula One TT where he was riding a Ducati, a replica of what his Dad Tony had ridden in the 1980s. Although down on speed to the front running machines of Michael Dunlop and Bruce Anstey, an opening lap of 119.265mph saw him slot into 11th and going quicker second time around, 119.896mph, he moved up into the top ten. He maintained tenth all the way to the chequered flag and saved the best until last with his final lap being an impressive 120.474mph.


“The Ducati was brilliant and never missed a beat. I wasn’t sure how hard to go as I wanted to get to the finish to reward the team for all their efforts but built my speed up each lap and to do 120mph+ on the last lap was brilliant. The pit stop was perfect and whilst I’d have been happy with a top 15 result before today, I’m over the moon with tenth.”


Michael’s other outing came in Saturday’s 500cc Classic TT, the race which he led twelve months ago until retiring on the third lap. A few technical issues in practice on the Ripley Land Seeley put him on the back foot somewhat and a vibration on the opening lap caused him to stop twice with the fuel tap having been knocked off. His opening lap was some 37 minutes long which placed him 62nd and last but two 106mph laps saw him move up the order only for a tyre problem to force him out for good at Gorse Lea on the fourth and final lap.


“The 500cc race was eventful to say the least and I made two stops on the first lap to try and sort the fuel tap out. I had hardly any road to bump start the bike when I stopped at Sarah’s Cottage and when I did get it going, I nearly disappeared into a field! When I did get going, the bike was working well and although any chance of getting a result disappeared, I was happy to be going round. As it was, the front tyre delaminated and that was why I had to stop at Gorse Lea, this time for good, on the final lap. It's been a really enjoyable week of racing on the Island again and I'll be back next year to do it all over again.”


Michael’s next outing will be in two week’s time in Frohburg, Germany where he’ll be riding for the team that he enjoyed great success with at the TT earlier this year.

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