Road Racing News

Michael Rutter Confident Of Race Winning Challenges At 2017 North West 200

Eight times Macau Grand Prix winner Michael Rutter is confident of challenging for race wins, at the North West 200 this year, which will mark 25 years since he first competed at the Giant Causeway based meeting.

Remaining in the Bathams SMT Racing fold for the Superstock and Superbike classes, he is set to pilot top spec S1000RR BMW machinery, whilst the Supersport races will see him compete on a brand new YZF R6 Yamaha for Stephen Thompson’s, Thompson Plastering team.

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A 13 times winner around the Triangle, Michael’s performance last year on the coast roads, where he wrapped up third place in the Superstock race, was proof that he is still capable of contending for victories.

Speaking about this topic, plus his chances of matching Alastair Seeley’s record of 17 wins, he said:

“Hopefully I still have another win or two left in me.

I’d like to think I could still catch Alastair Seeley’s record of 17 wins but it will be very difficult because he is so small and so good!”

Commenting on his Superbike mount for the opening international roads meet of 2017, he stated:

“We have built a superbike spec BMW and will ride it in the first BSB test at Donington next week. If we get on OK we will consider doing some BSB rounds.

Last year the superbike hadn’t turned a wheel before we arrived at the North West. We developed the bike all year and it showed how good it was in Macau. We have continued to develop it over the winter so it should be a good bike.”

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Photo by Jim Gibson

Alongside the North West 200, Michael’s 2017 race calendar will include returning to the TT Races, as he aims to add to his tally of 14 podium finishes, plus expect him to be also Classic TT and Macau GP bound.

Established as one of the most successful riders in the modern era within the international roads scene, he cannot be discounted from adding to his already stellar record of 25 international road race victories.

Words by Stevie Rial

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