Michael Rutter is now well in contention for the 2010 British Superbike Championship title after winning his first race in more than two years at Knockhill.
The veteran, who was victorious in his 326th BSB race, lived up to his reputation for being able to handle tricky weather conditions as he mastered the wet-to-dry surface by taking on and beating early leaders Josh Brookes and Ryuichi Kiyonari.
Coming two years after Rutter won his last race in similar circumstances at Mallory Park, his 26th career victory puts him comfortably inside the top six overall, a crucial standing if he is to qualify for the imminent 'title showdown' later this year.
“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.”
Also a first win for the Ridersmotorcycles.com Ducati team, Rutter has another good chance to cement his position in the standings after his fastest lap gave him pole position for the second Knockhill event, a race that will be run at Snetterton in two weeks time following a weather-related postponement.
“There's plenty of life left in the old dog yet,” said team manager Phil Jessopp.. “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.”