A forced pit stop with a suspected brake problem left Team Kawasaki's Michael Rutter (#9) with a huge hill to climb in the first Superbike race at Knockhill yesterday.

Despite rejoining the race at the back of the field, a spirited ride saw the former Grand Prix rider fight his way up to thirteenth place to collect three championship points at the chequered flag.

"As soon as I got on the brakes for the first corner, I thought there was a problem," said a disconsolate Rutter. "It felt like the front brakes were binding, which was causing the front to tuck as I set the bike up for the turns. After pulling into the pits and getting the problem checked out, I just got my head down and tried to make up as many places as I could. Obviously I'm disappointed, but the three points I picked up for thirteenth place could well prove vital at the end of the season."

With the disappointment of race one still fresh in his mind, Rutter was keen to make amends during the second outing of the day. A good start saw the 28-year-old West Midlander arrive at the first corner with the leading group of riders and, after battling with Shane Byrne, Paul Brown and Niall Mackenzie throughout the race, Rutter eventually crossed the finish line in fifth place.

"I got a fairly good start, but I just couldn't seem to stay on terms with the leading group," commented former TT winner, Michael Rutter. "After the problems in race one, I was hoping for a much better result than fifth in race two. All in all, the weekend has been a bit disappointing. I really wanted to mark Team Kawasaki's return to the British Superbike Championship with two good results today but, unfortunately, it wasn't to be."

Team Manager, Simon Buckmaster; "After a good performance in qualifying, it was disappointing that we didn't get the results we were hoping for this afternoon. Michael lost touch with the leaders early on in race two but, once he started having to fight for positions, his lap times were on a par with those of the front-runners.

"Between now and the next round at Cadwell Park, we'll be working to find a set-up that allows Michael to lap as quickly as the start of the race as he does at the end," Buckmaster added.



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