Team Kawasaki's Michael Rutter consolidated his fifth position in the Championship standings, with a seventh and sixth place finish in yesterday's two Superbike races at Brands Hatch. Despite the disappointment of finishing off the podium, the 28-year-old West Midlander is confident that the improvements made to his factory Kawasaki ZX-7RR this weekend will stand him in good stead for the next round of the series at Mallory Park.

A good start in race one saw Rutter arrive at the first corner in fourth place, but a wrong tyre choice left the former Grand Prix star struggling for grip by half race distance. A couple of big slides convinced Rutter that the best option was to ride for championship points, rather than risk a crash chasing a podium finish.

"We made the wrong tyre choice, and I paid the price for that in race one," said Rutter. "The rear let go every time I got on the gas in the second half of the race, so it was just a case of hanging on to score as many points as I could."

Another good start in race two saw Rutter again challenge the leading group at the first corner, before becoming involved in a race long battle with his main championship rivals, Paul Brown and John Crawford. After positioning himself for a pass on the final lap, Rutter dived up the inside of Crawford to take sixth on the line.

"We went for a different compound front and rear tyre in race two, which gave me a lot more grip than I'd had in the first outing," said Rutter, a former TT winner. "I had a good ding dong with Paul and John for most of the race and just managed to squeeze past John on the final corner to take sixth place. We've made quite a few small changes to the factory Kawasaki this weekend and the steady improvement in lap times proves that we're moving in the right direction. I'd have liked to have finished on the podium at least once this weekend, but I'm happy enough to have held onto fifth place in the championship."

"Obviously we're disappointed not to have finished higher up the order in today's races, but the programme of fine tuning we've implemented this weekend has brought us a lot closer to realising the full potential of both the factory Kawasaki and Michael Rutter," said Team Manager, and former Grand Prix rider, Simon Buckmaster. "We'll be testing at Rockingham Speedway this week, which will allow us the opportunity to try out a few more minor changes, before we head off for the next round of the series at Mallory Park."



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