Michael Rutter secured a much-needed eighth place in race two at Croft after suffering an agonising failure earlier in the day.
The Rapid Solicitors–Bathams Ducati rider was running as high as second after making a bright start on the damp track. Rutter lost that position to John Hopkins but still looked poised for his first podium of the season before a broken gear lever forced him into retirement.
In the dry second race, Rutter was running in the top four once again but started to lose traction on the Ducati 1198R, but still managed to score eight points.
Despite his heartbreak earlier in the day, the Kirkby Mallory rider remains in positive mood leaving North Yorkshire and is looking forward to a busy fortnight of racing.
“We didn't have a bad start to the weekend and we are still doing a lot of work on the electronics and it started much better here than Oulton Park. There were some changes we wanted to make in morning warm up and the changing conditions ruined that for us unfortunately. I was fortunate that the conditions played into our hands in qualifying as the front row start made a big difference in the race. I had a reasonable start and then we were unlucky that the gear lever broke and we had to retire.”
“In the second race we started from the second row and we were having a few problems with the traction but eighth was more points for the Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati team, so we now go to the North West 200 and try and build on what we have learnt at Croft to put us in a stronger position for Thruxton.”
Teammate Martin Jessopp came away empty handed after a challenging weekend. The Yeovil rider only squeezed through into Q2 by 0.081s but that would only elevate him to 17th on the grid.
Jessopp then struggled in race one after opting to start on wet tyres and trailed home in 19th before a technical problem ended his second race early.
“In qualifying we were struggling with the last section of the track, which is always the case for the Ducatis here”, he added. “In the first race the conditions were changing and we chose to run wet tyres which in the end was the wrong choice, but that was the luck of the gamble. I just did what I could and made my way up to 19th and the tyre was ruined by the end of the race as the track dried. In the second race we had a problem which we think was with the injectors and that ended the day, which was disappointing really but now we are looking forward to Thruxton.”
Team manager Phil Jessopp revealed he was concerned that the Ducati might not be too competitive at Croft and believes they will be back in the hunt at Thruxton.
“It has been quite a hard weekend for the Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati team, but it wasn't completely unexpected as this track has never been kind to us in the past. It was tricky conditions in the first race which caught Martin out on tyre choice, whilst Michael was unfortunate to have an issue with the brake lever. In the second race Michael was able to score some good points and Martin suffered a technical issue, but we move on now to Thruxton and in the past that has been a better track for us.”