BSB Web Blog: Is Michael Rutter too old for BSB?

Published: 09 December 2008

I understand why Ducati said they wanted to base their BSB assault around a young rider like Brendan Roberts who’s deal to come to the British Championship fell through when the Australian preferred a seat with Guandalini Ducati in WSB.

What manufacturer wouldn’t want to base their future around a young prospect – that’s what Honda did with Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso in MotoGP. It makes sense.

But I can’t bring myself to agree with the suggestion that Michael Rutter is too old for British Superbikes.

It would be fair comment if he’d be circulating in fifteenth every weekend, but the guy took four podiums including one win in 2008 and finished in the top six of the standings.

That doesn’t sound like the form of someone who’s too old for the sport.

HM Plant Honda didn’t think Glen Richards was too old when they signed him for a factory Honda ride for 2009 and he’s the same age as the Blade. So what’s the issue?

When it comes to bike feel and feedback there aren’t many in the business better than Rutter, and Ducati’s loss could potentially be another manufacturers gain if he gets a seat elsewhere in the championship.

What plays against Rutter is the fact he’s been in the championship for over a decade, celebrating his 200th BSB start in the opening race at Brands Hatch in the 2008 season finale.

The most ironic fact is if you take Shane Byrne and Gregorio Lavilla out of the equation and look at BSB Championship winners for Ducati, Steve Hislop is the next name down in 2002 at the ripe age of 40!

Surely talent and performance should overrule age, or am I wrong?

I want to know what you guys think – post your comments below on whether you think the Blade’s too old for BSB and what you would like to see him do if a Ducati deal can’t be dragged out for him.