Oulton Park plays host to rounds seven and eight of the British Superbike Championship this Bank Holiday Monday and Team Renegade Ducati head for their home circuit confident of success after a disappointing weekend at Thruxton a fortnight ago.

For Michael Rutter, currently lying second in the Championship standings, Oulton Park ranks high on his list of favourite circuits.

The 30-year-old West Midlander racked up a race win and a brace of podium finishes at the Cheshire circuit last season; a performance he is determined to improve upon this time around, as he sets about closing the gap on Championship leader, and former Renegade Ducati teammate, Shane Byrne.

"We're almost a quarter of the way through the season and there's no denying the fact that Shakey's had it all his own way so far," declared Rutter. "Hats off to him, he's riding really well at the moment, but I do think that we've been guilty of making things a little too easy for him.

"We made a big breakthrough with the factory bikes at Thruxton and I'm confident that this will allow us to compete on a level playing field this weekend," added Michael. "It's time Shakey learnt that this championship isn't over yet, and hopefully we'll be able to teach him that lesson this weekend at Oulton Park."

Team-mate Sean Emmett knows that he needs to turn his season around at Oulton Park if he is to realise his ambition of challenging for this year's British Superbike Championship title.

Cruel luck robbed the 33-year-old Renegade Ducati rider of a finish in the opening round at Silverstone, but Emmett will be looking to build on a second place at Snetterton and two strong finishes at Thruxton when the racing gets underway this Bank Holiday Monday.

"We've had some problems so far this season, but I think it's finally all going to come together this weekend," commented Emmett. "Oulton Park is a fantastic circuit, I really enjoy racing there and the fast flowing nature of the track really suits the Ducati. The inherent problem we've had with the factory 998F02 since the start of the season has now been sorted and it will definitely be the bike to be on this weekend. I just can't wait to get out there and start racking up some points."

An intermittent electrical fault exacerbated set-up problems for Nick Medd last time out at Thruxton, but after a full day of testing at Oulton Park last week, the 22-year-old Beverley rider is confident that his Ducati 998 Testastretta will work well around the 2.8-mile Cheshire circuit this weekend.

"We made some big improvements to the suspension set-up during the test we had at Oulton a week ago, and it was a big help having Michael on hand to offer advice about how to get the best from the Ducati," said Medd. "Oulton Park is definitely one of my favourite circuits, a real riders' track, and I'm really looking forward to racing there this weekend."

 

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