Michael Rutter's overwhelming emotion leaving Silverstone was one of relief as he made his return to BSB action. The Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati rider stunned many people, including himself, by qualifying on the front row and although he couldn't finish eighth in both races, the 39 year old was happy with his performance.
“It was a difficult weekend in terms of getting back on the Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati and still not being back to full fitness yet. I was just happy to get out there again, because as a rider there is nothing worse than being at an event and not racing. I used the first session to get back into it and the team were doing everything they could to get me as comfortable as possible on the bike; we even put foam padding on the tank to try and make it easier for me to ride. I did what I needed to do in practice and then in qualifying I have to say I was really surprised to have got myself on the front row.”
“In the races we still hadn't found enough to get the best grip and I was really fighting to finish eighth. We made some changes for race two but from the fourth row it was always going to be hard work so to finish eighth again wasn't a bad result, especially as earlier in the week I had doubted whether I would have even been able to ride. We have two weeks now to get myself fitter for Brands Hatch where we want to try and get back on the podium.”
Teammate Martin Jessopp's weekend was marred by accidents as he lost control of his 1198R in Saturday Practice before crashing again in race two. That left the Yeovil rider with just ninth in race one to show for his efforts.
“In practice we were doing ok and we were trying to find a way to get better grip for the races but in the third session I had a big 120mph crash at Farm but the Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati team worked hard so that I was ready to get back out for qualifying”, he commented. “I felt a bit beaten up but nothing serious luckily. In qualifying it wasn't so much of an issue as you use the softer tyre and again we made it through to Q3 and the top ten shoot for pole. I was happy enough with seventh but then I made a silly error and did a lap then looked for some space; when I found it I had let the tyre cool and when I wound it up I lost the front at Maggotts and gave my ribs a good whack.”
“In the races we were still struggling with grip and fought to ninth, but with the recent pace we have shown I was disappointed with that which shows how far we have come. In race two we went softer and it felt better, the only downside was that I was still learning how it felt as it was so different every lap. I was getting back with the leaders and then I had a monster high-side. It showed 105mph on the data when I hit the deck and I am feeling pretty beaten up right now. It wasn't how we wanted the weekend to end but I know at Brands Hatch we will do everything to get back up there in the last races of the season.”