IoM TT News
HM Plant Honda’s Michael Rutter recorded a personal best time with a 127.269mph time on the first lap of the Superstock TT race to claim a strong ninth place in the overall results, just a fraction away from his best time of 127.564mph set during Thursday evening practice.
Riding the HM Plant Honda Fireblade Superstock machine as a stand-in for the injured Steve Plater, Michael soon got to grips with the Honda CBR1000RR around the 37.73-mile mountain course during practice week and gradually increased his speed to slot into fourth place in the practice results and, although he gave it his best shot, he was unable to maintain that position during the four lap race.
He completed the first lap in eighth position but dropped to ninth after he came in to refuel at the end of lap two. He was elevated back up to eighth on the third lap of the course when Michael Dunlop encountered tyre problems and took a long pit stop but, on the final lap Dunlop clawed his way back in front leaving Michael to complete his race in a creditable ninth position.
Michael Rutter says: “It would have been good to finish higher up but I’m not unhappy with that result. I have gone faster than ever before around the course and my times were fairly consistent throughout the race. The bike didn’t miss a beat and to do these kinds of speeds you have to be really on it, which I am in some respects, but not others around here. The other guys are riding the Superstock bikes week in and week out but I’ve had just five days of practice to get to grips with the HM Plant Honda Fireblade, so ninth is a good result I think.
“It is 12 years since I won the Junior TT back in 1998 and things have moved on so much from then – you’ve just got to look at the uplift in speeds from last year to this year to see just how much the TT races are progressing. Everyone thinks I have loads of experience here but that’s not entirely true as I didn’t come back for seven years. But, I’m really enjoying being here this year with the HM Plant Honda team and now I’m looking forward to the Superbike race on Friday on my Batham’s backed Honda Fireblade.”
Havier Beltran, Team Manager, said, “Considering Michael was drafted in at the eleventh hour that was a good result for him and the team. He has improved his lap times throughout practice week and gone faster than ever before. He did get held up a in his pit stop as we had to make some adjustments to the fairing but he did well to complete the race in ninth place.”
The HM Plant Honda team will be back out on the Mountain course this Wednesday for an additional Superbike practice session, ahead of the event’s final race – the Senior TT – on Friday.