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NW200: Rutter chasing incredible 14th victory

'We have the budget to get the right engines from BMW, we have K-Tech suspension so we just need to get out there and get some track time' - Michael Rutter.
Michael Rutter admits it will be a tall order to claim a 14th victory at the North West 200, where the evergreen English rider has been competing for more than 20 years.

Rutter is running BMW machinery this year with backing from Bathams and SMT and is tied with Ulster road racing legend Joey Dunlop on 13 wins at the international road race, claiming his most recent victory in the Superstock class in 2012.

Only Alastair Seeley and Robert Dunlop, who have both won 15 races apiece, have achieved more success at the event.

Rutter, though, says winning at the North West has become a 'lottery' with so many riders capable of forcing their way into the victory mix.

“I think it would be very difficult and it is a lottery going into that last lap at the North West,” Rutter said.

“You could be leading going into Juniper Hill chicane and then end up third or fourth.”

The Midlands veteran will also compete in the Supersport class for Bathams/SMT Racing on a Kawasaki ZX-6R and hopes to secure a ride for the two Supertwins races.

Rutter, though, feels time is running out in terms of gaining some set-up time with his BMW Superbike, which won't be ready for at least a couple of weeks.

“The only thing we don't have is time, it is the only thing we are running out of,” he said.

“The Superbike should be ready in two weeks' time but then we only have a fortnight until the North West.

“We have the budget to get the right engines from BMW, we have K-Tech suspension so we just need to get out there and get some track time.

“I don't have a Supertwin to ride at the moment but I would like to have a run out at the North West if one becomes available.”

Rutter is competing in the British Superstock 1000 Championship in 2016 and finished fifth in the opening round at Silverstone.

He revealed he working on plans to run his own team in the British championship and at the international road races.

“I want to do well for myself and I want to get the team up and running and get it some promotion,” said the two-time BSB runner-up.

The Vauxhall International North West 200 takes place from May 10-14.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Michael Rutter on the Bathams SMT BMW.
Guy Martin on the Honda Racing Fireblade SP2
Gary Johnson will run his own team at TT 2017.
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 Kneen has signed for the Penz13.com Racing Team for the 2017 road races.
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.
Peter Hickman won the Macau Grand Prix for the second year running on the Bathams/SMT BMW.
Glenn Irwin on the PBM Ducati at the Macau Grand Prix.

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