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NW200: Rutter rolls back years for 26th podium

'Saying the Superbike had never turned a wheel before we got here, I'm more than pleased with how it's gone' - Michael Rutter.
North West 200 favourite Michael Rutter rolled back the years to claim another rostrum at the event with a fine ride to third place in the Superbike race.

Rutter, who is the joint third most successful rider at the famous race with Joey Dunlop on 13 wins, impressed on the Bathams SMT BMW, which he only rode for the first time in Tuesday's opening practice session.

The 44-year-old was locked in battle with Tyco BMW's Ian Hutchinson and the pair were separated by less than three tenths of a second as they disputed second place, but as they started their fifth lap but the red flag was out after Bruce Anstey came off, fortunately without injury.

The result was declared at the end of the four laps, with Rutter confirmed in third place as he celebrated his 26th podium at the North West. Rutter finished fourth in the earlier Superstock race.

Sadly, the final Superbike and Superstock races were abandoned due to the fatal accident involving Malachi Mitchell-Thomas.

“It's been a good day for me and for saying the Superbike had never turned a wheel before we got here, I'm more than pleased with how it's gone,” said Rutter.

“I messed up the Superbike race though when I took my eye off the ball a bit when Alastair [Seeley] overshot University. I was in the wrong gear and everyone came flying back so I think I dropped back to seventh or eighth.

“It left me a lot of work to do but I was up to third when the red flag came out,” he added.

“The Superstock race was hectic, to say the least, and I thought I'd positioned myself perfectly behind Hutchy going into the final couple of laps.

“Coming into Metropole though on the final lap, Alastair came flying by and I didn't think he'd stop. He managed to get stopped and get the drive and so I ended up fourth,” he added.

“All in all, it's been a good week for me and I've had some good results whilst I couldn't be happier with all the bikes so a massive thanks to the team for all their work.”

Rutter is next in action at Brands Hatch in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 prior to the Isle of Man TT.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Michael Rutter in action at the North West 200
Dean Harrison on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki in the Senior TT.
Peter Hickman in the Senior TT on the Smiths BMW.
Michael Dunlop on the Bennetts Suzuki in the Senior TT.
Bruce Anstey on his way to victory in the TT Zero race.
Guy Martin on the Honda Racing Superbike.
Jochem van den Hoek.
Michael Rutter took victory in the Lightweight TT on the Italian Paton.
Dan Kneen celebrates with his team after sealing his maiden Isle of Man TT rostrum in the Superstock race.
Ian Hutchinson celebrates his Superstock victory.
Ian Hutchinson on his way to victory in the Superstock TT on the Tyco BMW.
Davey Lambert in the RST Superbike race.
A Sidecar narrowly missed spectators in an incident that was captured in a video posted on YouTube.
James Hillier on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki in the opening Supersport TT race.
Michael Dunlop in the Supersport TT.
Michael Dunlop on his Yamaha in the Supersport TT.
Peter Hickman claimed his maiden podium at the Isle of Man TT with a runner-up finish in the RST Superbike race.
Michael Dunlop at the start of the RST Superbike race on the Bennetts Suzuki.

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