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Michael Rutter: In his own words

Published: 04 February 2002

Monkeyman2000: What's the new bike like?

MichaelRutter: You know, fantastic, to be honest with you. So smooth and easy to ride to be honest with you. Any gear you want to be in, it just pulls like a train

monkeyman2000: Do you think it's a gamble riding for a new team?

MichaelRutter: No, not really, because sometimes when you've got a new team, some teams are stuck in their ways sometimes, and a new team of new people can come up with some good new ideas sometimes.

Monkeyman2000: How big a disadvantage does a four-cylinder have over a Ducati?

MichaelRutter: Now they've gone to a 1000cc it's a lot nearer now than it ever was, but I think the Ducati, every circuit you go to it'll have the advantage over the four cylinder. But it'll be closer than it has been the past few years

Atom: how's it going with shakey burns

MichaelRutter: He seems a good laugh and everything, so very well.

Weelz: How do you think Shane Byrne will do this year?

MichaelRutter: I think he's got as much chance as anyone out there, he's proved he's a brilliant rider, and I think the Ducati's going to suit his style. I think he's going to be one to watch.

Weelz: What do you think of Ray Stringer's plan to run a four-rider team?

MichaelRutter: I spoke to Ray a lot about it, and it's hard to run a 2 man team, let alone a four man team, but he thinks he can do it and good luck to him. If he's got the right people around him then he can do it, but he'll find it a lot harder if he hasn't got the right people around him.

Hondacbr400cc: As you rode the Kawasaki last season what do you think of Chris Walkers chances in WSB

MichaelRutter: I think it'll be hard for him to beat the Ducatis on a 750, but then again if anyone can do it Chris can do it. He's a brilliant rider, so see how it goes...

Weelz: Where do you think you can finish in the championship this season?

MichaelRutter: Hopefully, I'd like to be in the first three at least. I mean we've got the bike now, so it's just down to me riding it.

Manxman27: Are you doing the IOM TT this year?

MichaelRutter: Well, I wanted to compete the TT, but the problem is it clashes as everyone knows, and I can only ride the same bike in the TT as I would in the British championships, so the TT is a no go.

Bodthecap: Afternoon Michael.......cant wait to see you over here on the Isle of Man this year.........apart from yourself, is there anyone that can stop David Jeffries winning all the races he enters this year............and what do you think the impact of Joey not being here will have on the TT as a whole???

MichaelRutter: I think everyone's going to miss Joey. Half the people that went over there went there for Joey. It'll be sad this year, it'll be different. But then again they'll be lads like David Jeffries, John McGuinness, a lot of young lads coming out of Ireland. I don't think David Jeffries is going to have it all his way. There will be people like John McGuinness, Jim Moddie, all good riders, all capable of giving people a shock.

Bodthecap: Do you think Jeffries will do a sub 18 minute lap at this years TT........he's certainly nuts enough???

MichaelRutter: *laughs*, I don't know … anything's possible. The circuits improved a lot over the past few years. There's a lot of the circuit that you can hold flat out when you used to have to shut off, and there are parts where you can now travel 30mph quicker, so it's hard to say.

Philip: Is there any way that the team will allow you to do both the TT and Snetteryon BSB

MichaelRutter: No. Just because really it's impossible. We can't have the bikes in two places, and we can't separate the team. I'd love to do it but it's not practical, and I don't know of one rider from BSB that's doing it this year. David Jefferies is doing the TT, Jim Moodie is doing World Supersport, and John McGuinnes as well, so it's difficult for anyone from BSB. In World Supersport nothing clashes till the end of the week

Neil: Will we be seeing you and the Ducati at the NW200 or Sunflower this year

MichaelRutter: Er. The North West, we were talking about a few days ago. Hopefully the North West because we've got a few weekends free, and that's on a weekend off. I don't fancy relaxing on a weekend off!

xx1100: What is your favorate UK Cicuit? and WHY?

MichaelRutter: Favourite circuit, I've got 2; Oulton Park and Brands Hatch which I like the same really. Really just because of the corners they've got, and they're not just a circuit. They're up and down hills, and loads of different corners, that's it really

r1basher: Do you have any tips regarding bike set up for racing in the wet?

MichaelRutter: Yeah, soften everything off.

Dpc: Who's the best rider you've ever ridden against, and the best you've ever beaten

MichaelRutter: Oh, bloody hell! I think the best rider really, road-circuit wise was Joey Dunlop. Last year I rode around about 4 laps with him in the senior race, and I've never been against someone so determined in my life. I'd outbreak him and think I wouldn't see him again, and he'd come past me somewhere else. I don't think many people got to see him that close up and I've never seen someone go so fast in places no-one else had thought of. It was incredible, just unbelievable.

Bodthecap: As a Manxman and a TT nut, I'm gutted you are not coming..........Do you think that the people that set the dates for these meets are trying to 'Compete' with the TT as its been around since 1907 the same time every year???

MichaelRutter: Yeah, it's right. There's someone in the wrong. I don't know who and I don't want to get involved really, but there is someone in the wrong.

hondacbr400cc: will you go over to the TT in a social capacity??

MichaelRutter: Erm, hopefully, if someone invites me

Dpc: Are you going to race in the UK WSB rounds this year?

MichaelRutter: Hopefully, if we qualify for them yes. I'm not too bothered if it rains or not to be honest really. I just want to be out there with the WSB lads again.

Dpc: Do you ride a road bike for pleasure. If so, what is it?

MichaelRutter: I had a ZX6 last year, so I did, but only a little bit. I had to go out in my race lid, cos I haven't got anything else! But I don't think anyone recognised me, cos noone tried to kick me off!

Stumbo: Do you have any quirky routines before a race ?

MichaelRutter: Er, no, not really. I'm quite normal. I don't have to wear special socks or anything like that. Basically I just go out there and do it.

Stumbo: Do you have any outrageous routines *after* a good race ?

MichaelRutter: That would be telling...!

Ianscales: Which racing do you prefer, Road or Track?

MichaelRutter: Short circuit wise, when everything goes well, you do get a lot of enjoyment. At the TT, when you've had a good TT and North West and you get home and sit there and think about it, you get a lot of enjoyment about it. It's something different on the roads.

hondacbr400cc: You're going on a long journey & can take only one CD to listen to. What would it be?

MichaelRutter: Bloody hell, got me there...really, no preference to music. Depends on what the radios like. I just bang it on and listen to that, nothing specific.

hondacbr400cc: Will you race in the mallory park race of the year ??

MichaelRutter: Erm, I don't know yet.

Wiserider: What about favourite wet ciruit

MichaelRutter: Favourite one...it's gotta be Oulton park or Brands Hatch again.

Bodthecap: In the Sidecars at the TT this year, Dave Molyneaux is going for a sub 20 minute lap (Barmpot)...........would you like a trip round the TT circuit 'In The Chair' with Molly?

MichaelRutter: I'd rather ride round with no clothes and no helmet round the Isle of Man that go round with someone like that ...so that means no!

Simmo: How much competition will there be between you and Shakey?

MichaelRutter: Well, everyone wants to beat their teammates, whether you think they're a nice person or not, and when you are out on the circuit you want to beat everyone, regardless of whether they are your teammate or not, and if you can get on, and have a laugh when you are off the circuit. } When it goes bad and you fall out it's not ideal, but I can't see that happening between me and Shakey and he's every bit as determined to beat me.

Stumbo: Where exactly are you now, and what are you doing for the rest of the day?

MichaelRutter: I'm actually driving back from Donington back home, and I'm going to go and lie in the bath!

Atom: What do you do during the off season?

MichaelRutter: Erm, mainly this year, running, and sometimes go football training with a few of the locals, and a bit of mountain biking as well. I'm not too worried about any dodgy tackles.

xx1100: When did you start riding bikes?

MichaelRutter: Oh god… so long I can't remember. I think about 5 really, just around the paddock when my dad was racing.

Atom: Pet hate?

MichaelRutter: Bloody hell.... not really that much really People who beat me, that's about it really.

hondacbr400cc: Do you think John Reynolds will struggle on the GSXR ?

MichaelRutter: John's one of the most experienced riders out there. He's been a long time on the Ducati, and I'm not saying that's a downside, he's one of the most experienced and I think him and Karl will make a good team. I don't think he'll struggle too much The Suzuki's fast anyway.

Stumbo: Predictions for the season BSB,WSB & GP

MichaelRutter: Bloody hell, winners, really? BSB will be a bit of a lottery but Steve Hislop has got to be the favourite really. He was the one who proved he was the man last year until he had his crash. WSB...I think it could be Bayliss again. I don't think there's any stopping him on the new Ducati. And GP's I think there's only one person who stands head and shoulders above the rest, and that's Rossi again. He's got that little bit extra over everyone else out there.

Namezippy: How about Katoh?

MichaelRutter: Yeah, well, there are people like Katoh, but there's a big learning curve. It's hard to predict. There are just people who stick out in my mind straight away. There are people who you forget about until they just go out there and do the business, it's a hard one to predict really.

Wiserider: what was your first road bike when you got your licence

MichaelRutter: I had a Suzuki...50...trail bike it was

Ianscales: Will you be getting a 'Firms' bike this year?

MichaelRutter: Erm…*laughs*...no.

Stumbo: Best bit of gosip so far this year ?

MichaelRutter: Ray Stringer running a four man team...I don't think it's been done for a long time anyway. We could just have the one ray Stringer series next year!

Atom: most famous person u met

MichaelRutter: Most famous person? It's got to be...motorcycle racer...I met Rossi in the lift. I think he's got to be one of the most famous people I'll meet. It was when i was doing 500GPs. I was in the same lift with him, didn't say much. But I think he's a god on a bike really.

No- one away from motorcycling jumps out really. The nicest one was Yasmin leBon when I met her, and Simon LeBon, when they were sponsoring the team in 92.

hondacbr400cc: As a professional rider is it difficult to adapt to riding a twin on the limit after riding a 4 cylinder???

MichaelRutter: Not really. It's different, but every bike you jump on it's different, but you just jump on anything anyway. You go out there and really you adapt yourself quickly to ride a twin or a four cylinder. It's just getting the last couple of tenths out of them. But I've ridden a Ducati before and got the best out of it, so hopefully I'll do it again.

MichaelRutter: I would like to ride in GPs again on a factory bike, that's one of my wishes. 2nd wish...I'd like just to make enough money just to not do much else for the rest of my life, just not do too much else. And the last one is I've got 2 baby girls... I hope they've got nothing to do with motorcycles whatsoever! If they bring any boys back that ride bikes, I'll make sure to stop it! *laughs*

MichaelRutter: Thanks a lot for all your questions, and I'll try to do this again sometime when I'm not driving, cos I might be able to answer your questions a bit better! Thanks for your support and I'll hope to see you all at the races this year, but I really have to go because my phone's going to cut out soon. Cheers.

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