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Rutter eyeing strong second half
1:30pm Thursday 12th July 2012 in Sport
MICHAEL RUTTER says he will come out fighting in the second half of the season after a weekend to forget at Oulton Park.
Despite the rain threatening to play firmly into the hands of Rutter — nicknamed Rainman for his prowess in the notoriously tricky conditions — the three British Superbike races were actually run in dry weather.
With machinery issues plaguing him, Rutter looked like a fish out of water on the Cheshire circuit as he collected only two points courtesy of a 14th-placed finish in race one.
But there was better news for Brierley Hill’s Luke Quigley, who equalled his best result of the season by taking 12th in race one.
Rutter’s two points means the Dudley rider ended the weekend 15th in the overall standings with 38 to his name and trailing championship leader Tommy Hill by 196.
In previous seasons, Rutter has been in and around the the top six — the riders who contest the play-off-style Showdown over the last three rounds — ending 2011 in eighth and 2010 in fifth.
However, this year any chance of Rutter appearing in that Showdown appears all but gone.
But despite the picture appearing far from rosy, Rutter says he is remaining upbeat about the season at large.
He said: “At the moment it is frustrating to be finishing down the order but the weekend had been full of problems.
“The Brands Hatch test will be very useful to help get to the bottom of the issues and I’m sure we can come back stronger in the second half of the season.”
Rutter’s two points from race one, after finishing down 14th, would in any other season be a low point for him but it was as good as it got at Oulton Park. The 40-year-old didn’t finish race two before ending the third race in 16th.
Quigley’s 12th place in the weekend’s opening race came after he carved his way through from 21st on the grid.
The weekend went less well from there for the GBMoto racer. He finished 16th in race two and then crashed out of race three.
Quigley said: “It was been a bit of a mixed weekend for me. The bike is continuing to feel stronger and it looked like we had good pace.
“The last lap of the second race could have gone either way, with four of us again battling for 13th, but I ended up missing out on the points.