Michael Rutter slates Ducati weight penalty

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North West 200 Ducati rider Michael Rutter has slated the British Superbike race organisation’s decision to inflict a weight penalty on the Ducati 1098RS machines.

Rutter said: “I think the weight penalty is a disgrace. There’s no mention of it in the rules. The Ducatis don’t have a major advantage.

“Shakey is getting the wins because he’s riding really, really well. Put him on a Honda or a Suzuki and he’d be getting the same results.

“He’s on fire right now and no one has an answer to him. I don’t think the organiser should penalise the Ducatis, especially the way they implemented it.

“If anything I think the weight penalty will handicap me more than it will Airwaves.  At least they get technical support and data from Ducati Corse. We do it all ourselves.”

Rutter was hoping to race at the Isle of Man TT by picking up a last-minute superbike ride. He had the offer from Phase One to replace injured James McBride but finally had to turn it down.

Rutter said: “There was the offer of riding the Phase One Yamaha superbike but it all came a bit too late in the day.

“My (North West 200) team weren’t keen on me doing the TT from the outset and I have to respect that. They’re working hard for me and they’ve been flat out.

“We barely had the bikes finished for Donington (Park), because of the re-scheduled Brands round and doing the North West, it meant they were still finishing off the bikes ten minutes into the first session on Friday of the Donington meeting!

“It’s looks like we’ll be testing next week (to check how the bike works with the ballast added – to comply with the BSB ruling), so time wise, it just wouldn’t have worked out anyway trying to do the TT.”

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Gary Pinchin

By Gary Pinchin