He might now be out of the 2011 British Superbike Championship title fight following his accident at Cadwell Park a week-and-a-half ago, but still, Michael Rutter has revealed that he is determined to rejoin the grid for the first phase of the nail-biting 'Showdown' run-in at Donington Park.
Rutter was in contention for the final Showdown spot before a crash in the opening encounter at Cadwell sidelined him with broken ribs – although he did unsuccessfully attempt to compete in the next race. Since then, the Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati star has been fighting to return to fitness in a quest to be back in action this weekend.
“I am looking forward to Donington Park,” confessed the 39-year-old BSB veteran. “We haven't raced there since 2008, so it is really good to be going back and I just hope to be 100 per cent fit. I would say at the moment I am probably around 70 per cent, but I do feel better each day, so I'll just have to wait and see what happens.
“My aim is to go out on Friday and do the first session, and we'll make a decision then. I think the Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati will be the perfect bike for Donington Park, so I would love to be out there.”
Team-mate Martin Jessopp, for his part, has continued to build upon his results and following a trio of top eight finishes at Cadwell, he is eager to improve on his best finish so far this season of sixth place at Snetterton.
“Donington Park should be a good round for us,” he acknowledged. “We are getting stronger all the time, so there is no reason why we can't continue that way this weekend. I need to have a good qualifying session, and then that means I will be giving myself less work to do in the race.
“I think if we then get a good start, hopefully we can get away with the leading group and that should give us a good chance for some more strong finishes.”