Brake problems forced Michael Rutter's retirement from both twenty-eight lap Superbike races at Mallory Park yesterday afternoon but, despite the setbacks, the 28-year-old former Grand Prix rider remains confident of a top five finish in the championship come year end.

After suffering an electrical fault on the sighting lap, Rutter got a flying start in race one on the factory Kawasaki, forcing his way through from the second row of the grid, to lead into the first corner.

Despite intense pressure from James Haydon and Steve Hislop, Rutter held onto the lead until brake problems caused him to run wide at the Esses on lap four, which allowed Haydon through to take the lead. Despite retaking the lead at the next corner, Rutter continued to suffer problems with brake fade and was eventually forced to retire on lap ten.

Despite a change of brake pads for race two, Rutter was forced to pull into the pits on the first lap after again experiencing problems with the brakes.

After qualifying in fifth position, and leading the first race, Rutter was bitterly disappointed not to have finished either of today's races.

"We had a problem with the brake pads glazing in race one, but I've no idea what caused the problems in race two," said a disconsolate Michael Rutter. "I was convinced after qualifying that we could finish on the podium here this weekend, so I'm absolutely gutted that I didn't even manage to finish a race.

"I just want to put this whole weekend behind me and concentrate on the next round of the series at Rockingham. I know I can score a top five finish in the championship this season, but I need to rack up a decent points haul at the final two rounds to achieve that."

"After a good showing in practice and qualifying, we were expecting two solid results this afternoon but, unfortunately, it wasn't to be," said Team Manager, Simon Buckmaster. "The fact that we failed to finish either race today is obviously a bitter disappointment, both to Michael and the rest of the team, but we now need to put this weekend behind us and prepare ourselves for the next round of the series in two weeks time."

 

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