Belfast Telegraph

Hero Rutter brews up a deal for the North West

By Jim Gracey

North West 200 legend Michael Rutter will be back on the grid at this year’s Relentless-backed international road race extravangaza.

There had been doubts about speed king Rutter’s availability due to sponsorship issues. However top English brewery Bathams have thrown their weight behind the roads ace, now based in Shropshire, meaning he will compete in both Superbike races as well as the Superstock race on board MSS Bathams Kawasaki machinery on May 12-19 Race Week.

“I’ve huge affection for the North West 200 and have been crossing the channel to bring competitors since the early 1990’s so I’m absolutely thrilled that we’ve been able to put together a sponsorship package with Bathams giving Michael the opportunity to compete in both the NW200 and TT,” explained MSS Kawasaki team manager Nick Morgan.

“We’re really looking forward to great racing both on the first Thursday evening event and Saturday Race Day. Michael is certainly up for it and I know he has a big following in Ireland.”

Riding for MSS Kawasaki at the North West alongside Rutter, will be newcomer Steve Martin (39), originally from the north east of England but now based in Malaysia, currently competing in the Malaysian Superbike series.

Confirming the two entries, delighted North West event director Mervyn Whyte commented: “With 12 wins at the NW200, Michael has been a true star of the circuit and would have been sorely missed by fans.

“After several weeks of negotiation I’m really pleased that we’ve been able to secure Michael and I can’t wait to see him in action during Race Week. Michael’s team mate Steve Martin is particularly welcome and it’s fantastic news that we’ve been able to secure someone of his racing stature.”

Belfast Telegraph

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