RUTTER BATTLES BACK TO SIXTH AT OULTON Following the disappointment of only finishing ninth in the opening race, Stobart Motorsport rider Michael Rutter bounced back with a battling sixth place in race two when round four of the Bennetts ...
RUTTER BATTLES BACK TO SIXTH AT OULTON
Following the disappointment of only finishing ninth in the opening race, Stobart Motorsport rider Michael Rutter bounced back with a battling sixth place in race two when round four of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship took place at a cool and blustery Oulton Park today.
Having struggled with machine set up throughout the weekend, Rutter could only manage a ninth place finish in race one as he faded back following a promising start but in the second leg in front of the live ITV cameras, he led for the opening four laps as he battled with the Championship front runners.
Eventually Championship leader Gregorio Lavilla (Airwaves Ducati) and HM Plant Honda rider Karl Harris pulled away leaving Rutter to battle for the last rostrum place but gradually he dropped back into the clutches of the pursuing pack to end up in sixth position at the end of the second 17 lap race.
"The second race was a bit better. I got a good start and tried to hang in there with them but just lost a bit on each corner and couldn't stay with them in the end. We can now go to the next round a bit stronger and a lot more positive" said Rutter.
Meanwhile team mate Michael Laverty recorded two eleventh place finishes following a difficult weekend for the young Ulsterman. Laverty circulated with the leading bunch in the opening laps but decided to settle for two points scoring rides rather than risk a crash and score no points in the process.
"It's been an absolutely horrible weekend for me and I just couldn't get a comfortable setting on the bike. I was riding hard just to get where I did but I couldn't get the bike to do what I wanted. Hopefully when we move on to the tighter circuits the bike should be better. The next round is my home round so hopefully I can do better and get some decent results like I should be getting" said Laverty.
Meanwhile team owner Paul Bird commented: "I was quite happy with the second race, it was a lot better but we're still a long way off where we need to be. The riders upped their game in race two and they needed to as I'd hoped to be challenging for race wins by now. I'm looking forward to competing in the Manx Rally next weekend to let off some of my pent-up frustration!"
The next round of the Championship takes place at Mondello Park in three weeks' time whereby the Stobart Motorsport riders are hoping to challenge for rostrum places at the County Kildare circuit south of Dublin.
Superbike Race One Result
1, Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) 27m41.446s, 2, Shane Byrne (Suzuki) +0.429s, 3, Leon Haslam (Ducati) +0.870s, 4, James Haydon (Suzuki) +2.087s, 5, Karl Harris (Honda) +11.188s, 6, Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) +19.467s, 7, Tommy Hill (Yamaha) +20.053s, 8, Jonathan Rea (Honda) +20.196s, 9, Michael Rutter (Stobart Honda) +20.878s, 10, Glen Richards (Honda) +25.854s, 11, Michael Laverty (Stobart Honda) +25.945s.
Superbike Race Two Result
1, Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) 27m33.612s, 2, Karl Harris (Honda) +0.058s, 3, Shane Byrne (Suzuki) +12.004s, 4, Jonathan Rea (Honda) +12.380s, 5, Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) +12.430s, 6, Michael Rutter (Stobart Honda) +14.764s, 7, Leon Haslam (Ducati) +14.826s, 8, Tommy Hill (Yamaha) +22.645s, 9, Glen Richards (Honda) +27.654s, 10, Ben Wilson (Suzuki) +27.858s, 11, Michael Laverty (Stobart Honda) +28.096s.