Knockhill (UK), Monday 5th July: Michael Rutter chalked up his first British Superbike race win since 2008 when he took the RidersMotorcycles.com Ducati to a tremendous victory in the first race at Knockhill on Sunday. It also marked the first British Superbike race win for the RidersMotorcycles.com team.
Rutter is still placed fifth in the championship but has closed to within 27 points of series leader Josh Brookes.
The weather played a significant role in the meeting and the first race required three starts to get a shortened 15-lap race finished. The first start was halted by heavy rain. The second was stopped by a crash on the wet track. But third saw Rutter meticulously pick off the two HM Plant Hondas to claim a brilliant victory by conserving his tyres on a track that started wet but was drying rapidly.
Rutter said: “This is brilliant, not just for me but for the team. It’s great to back as a championship contender and it’s even better to be standing on top of the podium again. The conditions played into my hands a bit but I was desperate to get past the Hondas and run my own race. I know the race was shortened but it’s a win none the less in far from ideal conditions.”
The second race was halted by a six-rider crash. No one was seriously injured but, during the delay to clean up the track, the weather conditions deteriorated even further and, after consulting the teams, the race organisers abandoned the meeting.
Team owner Phil Jessopp said: “There’s plenty of life left in the old dog yet! Michael rode really well all weekend but I said on Saturday night that if the weather turned nasty, I’d expect Michael to do well in the wet. He’s just getting more and more confident with the bike and the team is working really well. And now we’re looking forward to the three races at Snetterton."
Rutter’s team-mate Martin Jessopp was absent from Knockhill after his Mallory crash. He sustained a broken lower leg in the crash but had an operation on Friday night to pin the injury and is hoping to make a return to the track for at least the final two rounds of the series.