Team Renegade Ducati riders Sean Emmett and Michael Rutter have reached an agreement to redistribute the allocation of machines between them, in a move to improve their performances in the British Superbike Championship.

Previously, each had one Ducati F02 plus one RS02 at their disposal but, following a meeting after the team had arrived at Knockhill last Thursday, the riders have agreed that it would be beneficial to them both to have identical bikes. In a rare gesture of sportsmanship, Emmett offered to give up his factory machine for the benefit of Rutter, given the latter's higher ranking within the series. Although Rutter was grateful in accepting the offer, he had no hesitation in confirming that he was quite prepared to accept Emmett's RS customer bike in the interests of consistency, and to shorten the set-up time during events.

"Sean and I had been thinking the same thing and so we had a quick chat on Thursday night and decided that we needed identical bikes in order to become more competitive, and therefore improve our championship prospects," Rutter commented, "The bikes are so different that we were losing a lot of time during practice, and even in qualifying, trying to find the correct set-up. I would have been perfectly happy to go with a pair of RS bikes, but Sean volunteered his factory bike and, naturally, I was very pleased to accept it."

After a disappointing start to his campaign, Emmett remains philosophical about the season and had no difficulty in offering to support one of his team mates.

"Michael has had a far better start to the season than me, so it's important to the team's objectives to give him all of the help we can," he said, "From my point of view, there is very little between the bikes - the power delivery on the factory bike is much smoother but, in some respects, the RS bike suits my style better."

Team principal Mark Griffiths was consulted about the proposal via a phone call from the riders on Thursday evening.

"The boys rang me and explained their idea and I said I would leave it to them to decide between themselves," he admitted, "It's important to be fair with everybody, and I always go out of my way to treat all four of our riders absolutely the same when this is feasible.

"I would never have taken Sean's factory machine away from him, regardless of what it would have meant to our championship prospects. It was a wonderful gesture from him, and I hope that they can both benefit from the change around."

The change has already appeared to pay early dividends for Rutter, who qualified on pole position for Sunday's races for the second year in succession.



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