Stobart Motorsport rider Michael Rutter took advantage of the gloriously sunny conditions by posting his second best result of the season at the penultimate round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Silverstone today.

Riding the VK and Vent Axia sponsored Honda Fireblade Rutter qualified on row two of the grid and in the opening twenty lap race ran with the leading bunch in the early stages. With renewed confidence Rutter hung on to take a deserved fifth place at the flag just behind the factory Honda of Jonathan Rea.

In race two, Rutter again got a good start and made the most of a titanic battle to end up seventh after twenty hectic laps and in doing so scored more valuable championship points as he looks to round the season out in style.

"That was a better weekend. The first race went well but I should have got dug in a bit more. I had some massive vibration from the rear in the second race but overall everything was a lot better."

Meanwhile it wasn't such a successful weekend for team mate Michael Laverty who was returning to the track which saw him sustain serious injuries last year.

The young Ulsterman suffered a high speed crash during qualifying but despite a swollen elbow was hoping to continue the team's good form. However in the opening race a clash with Shakey Byrne saw him punted off at the Woodcote chicane before bouncing back in race two to finish eleventh to end a weekend of frustration.

"I'm a bit disappointed. I started the weekend so well with practice but I had a big crash and hurt my arm. In the first race I only got four laps in when I got knocked off by Shakey Byrne. I struggled in the second race with my arm hurting, so I just hung on until the end and I was in quite a bit of pain. Things were going pretty good this weekend so I'm looking forward to Brands Hatch and hope for some pretty decent results."

Team boss Paul Bird left Silverstone a little happier than recent rounds having seen an improvement from his riders.

"Whilst we didn't get the results that we might have been hoping for, the performances were encouraging and where Michael (Rutter) was running in the races is where we would expect to be. We had a bit of a team meeting during the week to address some of the problems and I'm glad that everybody has responded positively and we now look forward to the final round of the season in a couple of weeks time with renewed confidence and optimism."

The final round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship takes place at Brands Hatch in two weeks time on 30th September/1st October.

-credit: sm