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Rutter 'certain' to compete at North West 200

'Michael's in good form although he said he took a fairly heavy tumble and was lying on the ground for a while. He'll be on the grid for the North West no problem' - Mervyn Whyte
North West 200 race chief Mervyn Whyte says he has no doubt event favourite Michael Rutter will be on the grid in May.

Rutter suffered a broken leg following a crash during testing with the Honda TT Legends team at Mireval in France on Sunday.

The 40-year-old sustained a crack at the base of his tibia near his ankle, raising concerns he could miss the beginning of the British Superbike Championship plus the first round of the Endurance World Championship and possibly the North West 200.

However, Rutter intends to return to action at Brands Hatch in April and Whyte is relieved the Honda rider, who is the second most successful rider ever in the history of the North West 200 with 13 victories – two behind Ulster legend Robert Dunlop – will return to the international roads meeting in May.

“The injury is not as bad as what was thought initially. He has a crack at the base of his tibia near his ankle,” Whyte told the Belfast News Letter.

“He's going to see a specialist in Ipswich on Wednesday morning and he has also talked to the British Superbike doctor to get his input as well and the feedback from that was good.

“Michael is very optimistic and is hoping to be back out for the opening BSB round in April,” added Whyte.

“He's in good form although he said he took a fairly heavy tumble and was lying on the ground for a while.

“He'll be on the grid for the North West no problem.”

The remaining Honda TT Legends team members including John McGuinness, Simon Andrews and Michael Dunlop are currently taking part in a Dunlop tyre test at Albacete in Spain after travelling there from France.

Rutter will contest the British Superbike Championship this year for the Bathams Honda team plus the Endurance World Championship, North West 200 and Isle of Man TT for the Honda TT Legends outfit.

Related Pictures

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Michael Rutter during a press conference at the Macau Grand Prix
Conor Cummins has joined the Padgetts Racing Honda team for 2017.
Lee Johnston has teamed up with Ryan Farquhar to race a KMR Kawasaki in the NI Air Ambulance colours at the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT.
Alastair Seeley with the Tyco BMW he will race at the North West 200.
John McGuinness on the Jackson Racing Honda.
Michael Dunlop, Carl Cox, [Credit: Holeshot PR]
Michael Dunlop has signed for Bennets Suzuki for the 2017 international road races.
Michael Dunlop has signed for the Bennett Suzuki team for 2017.
Guy Martin, John McGuinness Honda Racing, [Credit: Honda Racing]
Guy Martin, Honda Racing, [Credit: Honda Racing]
Josh Brookes has signed to ride for Norton at the Isle of Man TT in 2017.
Dan Hegarty won the TT Privateers Championship in 2016.
Peter Hickman will ride for Smiths Racing in 2017 at the international road races and in the British Superbike Championship.
Michael Rutter on the Bathams/SMT BMW at the Macau Grand Prix.
Michael Rutter and John McGuinness during the pre-event press conference ahead of the 50th Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix.
Michael Rutter topped the opening practice session for the 2016 Macau Grand Prix.
Action from the 2016 North West 200
Michael Dunlop on the Team Classic Suzuki XR69 during the Classic Superbike race at the Classic TT.

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