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NW200: Rutter in high spirits after front row exploits

'We had a lot of work to do with the Superbike as it hadn't turned a wheel before we got here so I was a little bit surprised to end up on the front row' - Michael Rutter.
Michael Rutter is chasing a 14th North West 200 win after qualifying on the front row for the Superbike and Superstock races.

The 44-year-old last tasted success at the event in the Superstock class in 2012 and Rutter has been in excellent form this year on his Bathams SMT BMW machines.

He will start the Superstock races on Saturday from second place on the grid and qualified third in the Superbike class behind Alastair Seeley and Michael Dunlop in an all-BMW front row, lapping at 121.648mph.

“We had a lot of work to do with the Superbike as it hadn't turned a wheel before we got here so I was a little bit surprised to end up on the front row,” Rutter said.

“There's still work we can do to improve it and make it feel like the Superstock bike but we're not a million miles away so should be set for two good races.

“The Superstock bike is on rails and it's really good. Obviously, having ridden it in the British Championship has helped and whilst it was a shame Thursday evening's race didn't take place, we've got two bites of the cherry now on Saturday.”

Rutter finished ninth in the opening Supersport race on Thursday riding a Kawasaki ZX-6R but was struggling for top speed.

“As for the Supersport bike, we're a little bit down on power compared to the other bikes out there and I was a little bit disappointed with ninth,” he said.

“John [McGuinness] and I were running at a similar pace and we couldn't quite keep up with the leading pack but it was good to get the first race under our belts.

“I'm now looking forward to Saturday's racing and every race is going to be hard fought.”


Tagged as: North West 200

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Michael Rutter on the Bathams SMT BMW at the North West 200
Action from the 2016 North West 200
Lee Johnston on the East Coast/Burdens Triumph at the North West 200.
Michael Rutter in action at the North West 200
John McGuinness on the Honda Racing Fireblade at the North West 200.
John McGuinness on the Honda Fireblade at the North West 200
Ian Hutchinson on the Tyco BMW in the Superstock race at the North West 200
Jeremy McWilliams on the Mar-Train Yamaha at the North West 200
Ivan Lintin on the Devitt RC Express Kawasaki at the North West 200
NW200 logo
Ian Hutchinson on the Tyco BMW Superstock machine at the North West 200.
John McGuinness on the Honda Fireblade at the North West 200
Ryan Farquhar and Dan Cooper at the North West 200
Alastair Seeley celebrates winning his 16th North West 200 in the Supersport race from Ian Hutchinson and Martin Jessopp.
Alastair Seeley on the Briggs BMW Superbike at the North West 200.
Alastair Seeley on the Gearlink Kawasaki at the North West 200
Alastair Seeley on the Briggs BMW at the North West 200
Michael Rutter on the Bathams SMT BMW at the North West 200.

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