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Rutter could be forced out of NW200

29 February 2012

Twelve-time North West 200 winner Michael Rutter could miss the event in May due to a sponsorship shortfall.

Rutter, who will ride for the MSS Colchester Kawasaki team in the British Superbike Championship this season, will compete at the Isle of Man TT in June, although the Midlands rider's annual trip to Northern Ireland for the North West is in doubt.

On Tuesday, it was confirmed that Rutter will ride in the Supertwins 650 Lightweight TT on a Kawasaki ER6 machine for Ryan Farquhar's KMR team.

The veteran racer, who rates the famous Ulster road race as one of his favourite meetings of the year, is also understood to have secured a Honda machine for the Superbike and Senior races at the TT.

However, he is finding it tough to secure financial backing for the North West, although Rutter has not yet given up hope making the starting grid on Saturday, May 19 and has yet to meet potential backers over the coming weeks in an effort to attract additional sponsorship to fund his roads commitments.

His last victory at the NW200 was achieved in the Superbike class in 2008.

Rutter, who won the Macau Grand Prix in November for a record seventh time, is one of the most famous riders in the history of the North West.

He became the first rider to break the 200mph barrier in 2004 when he was clocked at 201.1mph on the HM Plant Honda Fireblade.


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