Michael Rutter has said he is feeling a definite sense of relief after putting the Worx Crescent Suzuki on the front row of the grid for Sunday's ViSK.com British Superbike Championship races at Knockhill.
There was certainly pressure on Rutter to perform after the setbacks of Snetterton, yet a calm and assured performance saw him secure a solid fourth-fastest lap time in the final qualifier to claim his second front row start from three meetings.
“It's been a hectic couple of days on track and certainly there's been a lot of drama and loads of red flags today,” Rutter reflected. “That's because Knockhill is a very tight track that makes for very tight lap times, it's like a pressure cooker. After free practice there was just 0.2-seconds between me [in ninth] and the fastest – almost nothing.
“For the team though it's been a very positive weekend, we worked on set-up in a definite direction and that's worked, the suspension is working really well here, everything feels good as race settings go.
“In qualifying it was important to stay fast from beginning to end and we did that. The same will go for tomorrow. So there's only the one strategy: to make the best start and get out in front and stay there.”
Jack Valentine, Worz Crescent Suzuki team manager, meanwhile was pleased to see his 'temporary' rider do so well.
“This was definitely a good day at the office, today. There's really nothing in it so far as the times go. The bike's good too, we'll make another small adjustment to the front suspension for tomorrow's warm-up and maybe we'll find a bit more still, but as it is Michael's very happy with everything,” he added.
“Michael's definitely got the hang of the starts with the GSX-R1000 so we're looking forward to typical lightning Rutter starts tomorrow and to seeing him out there at the front of the pack.
“The preparation is all done so now it's just a case of Michael doing the business in the races.”