Michael Rutter joins Chris Walker at Rob Mac Yamaha

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Michael Rutter will partner Chris Walker in a resurgent Rob Mac Racing Yamaha team next year which means there will be no major Ducati team in BSB for the first time since the series was revamped in 1995.

With GSE Racing having already announced their switch to Yamaha at the end of the season, there had been hope that Ulster businessman Alastair Kennedy would continue to field the Italian v-twins with North West 200 backing, but the money has now gone with Rutter to the Scunthorpe-based Yamaha team.

Rutter, 35 years old, finished sixth in this year’s series, taking a win at Mallory Park.

He looked set to be on the sidelines when the NW200 team were asked by the Ducati Corse to run European Superstock 1000 champion Brendan Roberts in BSB with factory support.

But Roberts signed for the Guandalini Ducati WSB team and Kennedy opted to back Rob McElnea’s Yamaha team, which secured Rutter’s place in the championship, instead of running the expensive twins.

Rutter said: “I’m properly happy with the deal. We’ve got a real chance of winning the BSB title in 2009. We’ve got an experienced team with Rob and I’m really looking forward to working with him considering I never have done before. It’s a huge relief to have something sorted for next season.”

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Rob Hull

By Rob Hull