RUTTER ON THE PODIUM AT BRANDS! Stobart Motorsport rider Michael Rutter ended the season where he started it by finishing on the podium after a day of drama at the final round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship held at Brands Hatch...
RUTTER ON THE PODIUM AT BRANDS!
Stobart Motorsport rider Michael Rutter ended the season where he started it by finishing on the podium after a day of drama at the final round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship held at Brands Hatch today.
Riding the VK and Vent Axia sponsored Honda Fireblade, Rutter qualified on the front row of the grid after Saturday's rain-shortened Audi Performance Qualifying session but in the opening 20 lap race, he blew the start meaning he was languishing down the order when out came the red flags to stop the race because of rain. However, in the restart, the 33 year old opted for slick tyres on a drying track which proved to be an inspired choice as he brought the Paul Bird Motorsport bike home in third place to match his result at the opening round of the season at the Kent track.
But in race two, Rutter couldn't repeat his heroics in leg one and after choosing a harder tyre for the rain-hit second outing and had to settle for eighth at the flag, the race being red flagged for a second time after an accident involving Tommy Hill.
"I was really pleased with the first race, it was good to be back on the podium. I was just a bit disappointed with the second one after we went for a hard rear wet and should have gone for a softer one. But overall I'm happy with a third position and the front row start."
For team mate Michael Laverty his final two races aboard the Stobart Honda didn't quite reap the podium finish he was hoping for. The young Ulsterman crashed out of the opening leg before bouncing back to finish fifth in the weather interrupted second race to end up ninth in the Championship, two places behind Rutter.
"It's been a bit of a nightmare weekend. I crashed out in race one when I just got caught out, but I made a good start in second one and came through to fifth. I was catching Karl Harris at the end and if the race hadn't been stopped I could have got fourth. It was a nice way to end the season."
Team boss Paul Bird commented "That's more like it. It's great to be back on the podium again after a bit of a difficult season but Michael (Rutter) came up trumps for us today to reward the team for their efforts. It was an important result for us and our sponsors, it's only a shame it came right at the end of the season. Michael (Laverty) rode a great race in race two but for whatever reason it's just not happened for him this season. But we've had a couple of positive results here which is just the tonic that us as a team and the two riders needed to take into 2007."