Michael Rutter: In his own words

Published: 06 May 2002

Hairmonster: Do you get annoyed when people say 'he’s only really any good in the rain?'

MichaelRutter: No...cos it's best to have a name for something, rather than nothing at all!

Dabbsy: How do you feel now that Kawasaki are pulling out of WSB? Are they doing the right thing?

MichaelRutter: No not really, I don't think. It's 2 different classes. I know why they have done it, to put everything into Gp1. But I think it's a shame because I know people do buy bikes on the back of Superbike racing

Tucks: Can you see Kawasaki moving out of BSB as well as WSB?

MichaelRutter: Yes

Gsxer400: Do you regret not being able to compete in road races this year?

MichaelRutter: I'm competing in the North West 200, that's a road race, and I might be competing in the Macau GP. The only road race I won't be doing is the TT, which will clash with Snetterton. The new Renegade team hasn't done anything like this before, so I told them about the races, and Mark Richardson who runs the team is into doing anything new and different so he's well up for it.

Dabbsy: How different is the Macau GP

MichaelRutter: Completely different to BSB. Macau is one of the most dangerous circuits in the world that place for a motorbike rider, but it's not as competitive as the TT or the North West, where people do anything to win. It's more if you do well, you do well, and if you don't, don't worry about it.

Swracinguk: How much do you rate your current team mate, and who is the best team mate you have ever had?

MichaelRutter: It's hard to say that, every year you have different people, and everyone has had good and bad things. Shakey this year has definitely done better than I thought, because every time I've been out there I've gone quickest and he's gone quickest, so he's pushed me more than any other team mate I've had in the last few years.

Honda rs 125: what do you think about the 250's being scrapped?

MichaelRutter: It's a shame because when I was a kid, I've always seen 250 racing, since my dad raced one years ago. It's a shame because it's a different kind of race and sound, and they've always been around. It'll be a shame to lose them.

Carly18: Michael: you rode in the rain last week at Donington and won but had some pretty hairy moments with Shakey. Was their any point where you thought this could end in tears?

MichaelRutter: Several times! To be fair it was just luck I stopped on in that race. I nearly crashed, well several times I was almost off the bike in that race, but it just came back under me. It got to one stage when I couldn't see anything out of my visor and screen at all. I was just looking at the rev counter, and then lifting my head up to brake, it was that bad

Hairmonster: Dave Wood, who you know, says if anyone can beat him around Mallory Park on his June 25th trackday, he'll pay for everyone’s day....please come along....please!!

MichaelRutter: I'll be there and I'll bring some of my friends!!!

Swracinguk: V&M couldn't afford to go BSB Racing this year. Do you feel that Jos Foulston should make the Supersport class more appealing in order to attract bigger teams like V&M, because all teams would go BSB if they could afford it, but a lot have nothing to fall back on.

MichaelRutter: Same for the other series as well. Every race should be British Championship status. It makes it more exciting for the public to watch when there is something like that at stake

Honda rs 125: I'm racing at Cadwell this weekend and it’s supposed to rain. I've never raced in the rain, can you give me any tips?

MichaelRutter: Soften the bike off. I always run no steering damper and make yourself comfortable on the bike, so you can move around easier. Stuff like moving the brake lever in so you don't have to stretch as far. Make sure you can use the rear brake and can get your foot on it easy and that's about it.

Carly18: Saw you were doing some feet down braking. Do you do motocross?

MichaelRutter: No....but I felt like I was going to start!!!

Swracinguk: Next season the 1000cc fours would have had a years development, they look good at the moment, what would you rather be riding next year?

MichaelRutter: Erm…Ducati again, because I think that if Renegade are going to run Ducati's again, I'd rather stay with the same team and bikes. Next year we'll have a year's data to go on and I think that will help us a lot

Gsxer400: How different is your Ducati this year to the ex-Foggy one you rode about 6 years ago

MichaelRutter: I think it had about 130bhp, the old one, and this ones got 170bhp. Completely different. At first I thought it was going to be similar but it was a shock to me finding out how different they were.

Dingledell: Michael do you enjoy Oulton Park?

MichaelRutter: Yes. One of my favourite circuits. It's got a bit of everything. Uphill, downhill, slow corners, fast corners. It's more like a road circuit as well. Everything is near to you, so it feels like you are going fast when you're on the bike so it's more of a thrill.

Swracinguk: What would you have done for a living if you couldn't be a racer?

MichaelRutter: I used to like mechanics and doing things like that and working on my dad's bikes and helping him. So I would have liked to have done something like that around racing and eventually have run my own team

Mr telefonica: What’s the scariest corner?

MichaelRutter: Scariest corner is probably going down the Avenue into Cascades, for me, and going into Druids going at one hell of a speed.

Mrburns: Is Rossi the most talented rider in World racing, and would you challenge him on the same bike?

MichaelRutter: Too difficult to answer but I'd like to have a go on his bike. Even in the wet, I still think he's very special and there aren't many like him about.

Swracinguk: If you were given a budget when you retire to run a two rider superbike team, who would you choose out of the current crop and why?

MichaelRutter: I think I'd choose Shakey because I think he's very talented. He's proved that riding in the wet and everything, and I think I'd employ Hislop as well, because he's one as well. Everything is usually right for him and when he's on form he's one of the fastest riders in the world

Missuscool: Out of all the bikes you've ridden, which was your favourite?

MichaelRutter: I think it's been Ducatis really, all the way through...since I rode through the 888 right the way through to the stretta 996. The most thrilling bike has to be the Ducati by far.

Mrburns: Do you watch racing with as much interest/excitement as us non racers?

MichaelRutter: I do if I know someone in it.....yes.....if there's someone I know, I will watch that race with a lot more interest.

Honda rs 125: How did you start racing? Did you start with a club and which one?

MichaelRutter: I did start racing through my dad really. I just followed on when he virtually retired and I think it was Darley Moor club

Calm: If you and your dad raced each other when you were both the same age, who would win?

MichaelRutter: Bloody hell. That's a good one. More than likely my dad. He must have written that one....! That was a good one, that one. I just said that to be diplomatic and he'd never speak to me if I won

Captn scarlet: I remember at brands in the wet when you won the restart and beat Carl and Kocinski what did that feel like

MichaelRutter: Fantastic. It was ...to be honest...one of the best races I've ever had. I just couldn't believe it when I was behind Kocsinski and Fogarty. And when I took Fogarty for the lead it was just amazing. And plus the bike I was on, was nothing like theirs. Like the RC45 of Kocinskis. I actually rode a factory one a year later at the TT and it was a rocketship compared to the one I had But then again maybe the conditions suited my bike better.

Carly18: Michael; what did you do before you raced?

MichaelRutter: Erm...before I was racing I used to work in a bike shop. Motorclemart in Kidderminster

Tarmacsurfer: Does it get on your nerves that your always referred to in the press as a wet weather racer like it implies that you only have a chance of a win if its raining on race day?

MichaelRutter: Erm...it doesn't to me because I know...I had a good chance of winning that first race in the dry... I had the lap record. I've won more races in the wet than I have in the dry so it doesn't bother me. I've just got to turn the table. I've got the team and the bike to do it this year, so we'll just have to wait and see.

Rparsons: what road bike would you have given a choice?

MichaelRutter: Difficult one really...for different things.. If I had any choice I'd like on of those MV's or something like that, something different, just cos they look quite trick

Mrburns: Best Racer in their day in your view, Fogarty or Sheene ?

MichaelRutter: In their day? It's a difficult one that is. You can't answer it really, because it changes so much from year to year, let alone over that time difference. I really can't answer it, cos it'd be unfair to either one of them.

Honda rs 125: Who's the biggest plonker you've met in the paddock, or can't you answer that one?

MichaelRutter: There are too many for one answer!

Dingledell: Who's your best mate in the British Superbike series

MichaelRutter: Erm...I've got quite a few. You always like the people you've been racing with other the last few years, and your old ex-team mates. People like Ian Simpson and Jim Moodie, people who have done the same sort of things as me, the North West, British Championships. A lot of similar people really

Dingledell: What's your fave track in this country

MichaelRutter: Either Brands Hatch on the full circuit or Oulton Park. But really I haven't got one I hate...I like them all really...but those two have just got something different about them.

Mrburns: What bikes do you own?

MichaelRutter: I haven't got any at the moment. I wish I could go out on the roads...just need a bike. Don't mind when I have got something....

Missuscool: What do you do to psyche yourself up before a big race?

MichaelRutter: Erm... nothing really. I'm quite relaxed when I go for the race. In BSB it's just focusing on getting a good start, and the TT is just relaxing for a long distance and going for mile after mile. I don't feel the need to whack myself round the head or something. I've done it for so long I'm quite relaxed about it.

Ollie t: How long do u think its going to be before the 1000s really start to motor?

MichaelRutter: I always think it's going to be towards the middle to the end of the year when they are really going to get the best out of them and if they haven't done it by then

They are on our tails at the moment. But I think with the right rider on a Ducati, it's still going to be hard for them to beat them.

Swracinguk: do you feel it would benefit British Motorcycling is the series director was an ex racer like yourself?

MichaelRutter: Erm...no, not really. There are some people out there with some good ideas. It would be nice if they spoke to some of the racers sometimes, then I think it could have a better impact on everyone

Missuscool: Have you ever really fallen out with another rider?

MichaelRutter: I think everyone does in their career. Everyone gets cut up or does someone they shouldn't. But it's soon forgotten because you can do the same to them next weekend. But it's best not to fall out with anyone because at the end of the day we're all there for the same reason, and that's to win. I have had to sit in my mtorhome on my own to cool down for a while, but after ten minutes, it's alright again

Ollie t: What’s your proudest moment in racing

MichaelRutter: I think winning the TT. And like the North West things like that...anything a bit different. Or when I won the second part of that race at Brands WSB and finishing third overall. That was a proud moment

MichaelRutter: Thanks for all your questions and support throughout the year, and hopefully I'll be able to win in the dry for you this season so you don't get too wet watching me.