Michael Rutter could be in the hunt for the British Superbike Championship title for the second year in succession after making substantial gains during the eighth round of the season at Brands Hatch.

The Rapid Bathams Ducati rider has seen his form fluctuate this season, compared with 2010 when he qualified for the top six shootout with relative ease, but two podiums in the last four races have seen him work his way back into contention.

Indeed, in just four races, Rutter has risen from 12th to seventh in the standings and closed the gap to Ryuichi Kiyonari from 48 points to just five. With this momentum, Rutter is confident the upcoming three races at Cadwell Park will see him sneak into the 'title showdown' once again.

"I am really happy with the weekend," said Rutter, whose second place finish in race one was achieved on slick tyres in slippery conditions. "In race one I just gambled on slicks and it paid off for me. I was just going to go out and see how it goes and luckily for me it stopped raining and began to dry out.

"I could see Josh Brookes was pushing really hard in the first laps and I didn't want to risk crashing so I just went at my own pace and I had a few moments but it was great to finish on the podium again for the Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati team. I couldn't have done any more in the two races on Sunday and now we are much closer to the top six after that race."


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