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Ducati confirms return to the Isle of Man TT
17 March 2010
The legendary Ducati name will be back at the Isle of Man TT with a fully supported effort in 2010.
Michael Rutter and his British Superbike Championship team ridersmotorcycles.com will use machinery from the Italian manufacturer in four out of the five solo races.
With support from Bathams Brewery and Black Horse Finance, Rutter will campaign his 1098R Ducati, fully updated to 2010 specification, in both the Superbike and Senior races.
He will also race the team's 749RS in the two Supersport races.
The Midlands rider last rode a Ducati at the TT in 1996 and the last official Ducati effort on the Island was in 2003, when John McGuinness rode the 998cc MonsterMob machine.
Rutter's outings at the TT in 2007 and 2009 were hit by injury and machinery issues. Last year's effort was also affected by his split with the NW200 Yamaha squad on the eve of the event – leaving Rutter still building his own Suzuki as he arrived in the Isle of Man.
Despite that, he still lapped consistently in the 125mph bracket with a best result of seventh in the Pokerstars Senior race.
A return to Ducati, with a fully supported effort, should put Rutter back among the front-runners. The 37-year-old has a strong pedigree around the Mountain course, having taken victory in the 1998 Supersport race and recording eight other podiums. He also holds the 18th fastest lap time ever.
Speaking about the deal that will see him back racing at the TT for the 10th time, Rutter said:
“I'm really pleased to be returning to the TT with Ducati and I'm really excited and optimistic about our chances. Obviously last year didn't quite go to plan with all the problems so I'm eager to come back with a fully competitive package and show what we can really do.”
“When we went racing with the Ducati at the end of 2009 it was all a bit last-minute and very rushed, but I could see there was a lot of potential with the bikes and I think we will be really competitive next season with updated engines and electronics.”
“I'm looking forward to riding the 1098R around the course and I'm sure we'll be right in the thick of the action. It's also great to have the use of the 749 for the two Supersport races.”
“It has proved how competitive it is at British Championship level and I can't wait to take on the 600cc machines on the V-Twin in the two Supersport races at the TT as well.”
Ducati is the latest addition to a growing list of important manufacturers to confirm they will contest the TT. In recent weeks BMW has announced its return after a 30-plus year absence, and KTM has also confirmed it will contest the TT for the first time in 2010.
With entries from TT perennials Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha and Kawasaki also confirmed, competition for victory is likely to be fierce.
Isle of Man Tourism and Leisure Minister Martyn Quayle said:
“We've really tried to encourage as many manufacturers as possible to come to the TT so that there is lots of variety for fans on the grid.”
“Ducati is one of the great names in the TT's history and with Michael Rutter on board as well, it is very exciting to see them coming back to the Isle of Man with such a competitive proposition.”
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