Michael Rutter believes the Rapid SolicitorsBathams Ducati team is in a position to challenge for regular podiums, starting this weekend at Knockhill.

The 39-year-old finished second in race one last time out at Thruxton before crashing out of third in race two, and cited a breakthrough with the electronics on the 1198R as the reason for the improved performance.

Rutter hopes that can continue in Scotland this weekend as he looks to close the six-point gap to the championship showdown positions.

“I am looking forward to Knockhill as at Thruxton we made some big steps forward with the electronics and we were up there on the podium in race one and then had it not been for the crash in race two I think we could have been again in the second race too. We had a good round at Knockhill last year, winning the only race of the weekend before the rain got worse so we obviously want to be on that form again because I need to outscore some of the other riders as currently I am just six points down on being in the top six and that is where I need to be.”

Teammate Martin Jessopp had his best weekend of the season so far at Thruxton, scoring 10 points over the two races, and is hopeful of making further improvements at a circuit that is slightly unfamiliar to him.

“It will be good to be back out on track this weekend after a few weeks off and to be honest I can't wait. I haven't raced at Knockhill in about three years as I have been out with an injury so I have had to miss it. We know that the Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati has good potential for this track as Michael (Rutter) won on it there last season and we just need to try and keep improving all the time.”