Team Kawasaki's Michael Rutter scorched through from the third row of the grid to claim sixth and fifth place finishes in the two Superbike races at Cadwell Park yesterday afternoon, despite still suffering from a massive practice crash that completely destroyed his number one factory ZX-7RR on Saturday.

A clean launch in the opening race saw Rutter leapfrog the second row of the grid, but the 28-year-old Midlander found himself boxed in at the first corner and lost ground on the leading group of riders. Undeterred, Rutter set off in pursuit of Shakey Byrne, eventually passing him to claim sixth place at the line.

"I got away from the line really well, but got pushed out at the first corner," said Michael Rutter. "By the time I was able to start working my way up through the field, the leading five riders had already disappeared into the distance. I could see Shakey in front of me, so I just got my head down and concentrated on reeling him in before putting in a pass towards the end of the race. The Kawasaki worked really well in race one, so we'll be limiting ourselves to a few minor tweaks for race two."

Another flying start in race two saw Rutter again leapfrog the four riders in front of him, to arrive at the first corner in fifth place. With the leading trio quickly pulling out a gap at the front of the race, Rutter was left to battle it out with James Haydon for the honour of finishing as the highest placed four cylinder rider. Despite closing a two second gap during the second half of the race, Rutter couldn't quite find the speed to make a pass. Less than two tenths of a second separated the two riders at the line.

"I really enjoyed the second outing, but I'm disappointed that I didn't manage to put a pass on James in the last couple of laps," declared 28-year-old Rutter after the race. "I struggled to get the power down as quickly as James out of Charlies and onto the straight, which meant I couldn't get close enough to pass him on the brakes into Park."

"We made a few changes to the bike during the interval, which meant I was a bit cautious at the start of the race and that cost me valuable time. I needn't have worried though, as the bike felt even better than it had in the first race. I'd have preferred to have come away with a podium finish this weekend but, after the big practice crash on Friday, I guess I'm happy to be leaving with fifth place in the Championship standings."

"Michael may be a little disappointed with today's results, but it's not always easy to bounce back from such a big crash as he suffered in practice," said Team Manager, Simon Buckmaster. "The after effects of the crash undoubtedly affected his qualifying performance, which obviously had a knock on effect for both races, but Michael was definitely back on the pace today. The team have worked really hard all weekend and, with the progress we've made here at Cadwell, we're confident that we'll be able to put Michael and Team Kawasaki back on the podium, where they belong, next weekend at Brands Hatch."

 

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