Rutter to SMT Honda? The facts

1 of 1

Michael Rutter has had talks with the SMT Honda team about racing at Mallory Park this weekend but, as yet, no decision has been reached and the most experienced man in BSB may just prefer to sit tight until after this weekend’s racing. 

If Rutter joined SMT, he would replace Aussie Jason O’Halloran who has recently tested the Altea Honda, but said: We’ve talked, but I’m not sure. It sounds like the team has got some good kit but everyone knows they are struggling financially and I’m not really too keen to rush into anything right now. I might just go to Mallory this weekend, sit around and see what happens and take things from there.  

Rutter is mindful that SMT boss Robin Croft has been saying publicly he cannot afford to continue racing without a backer, which means any deal the two could agree on would depend on either Rutter taking money to the team or a Croft finding a new backer, using Rutter’s name to attract fresh interest in the ailing outfit.

It might also mean that it’s only a short-term fix for both parties and within a couple of races Rutter might find himself again looking for a full-time ride – unless Croft can find a backer willing to sustain the final half of the season.

It’s understandable why Rutter isn’t too keen to jump into another short-term deal. He agreed terms to ride for the NW200 Yamaha team this year, only to find half way through pre-season testing that he wasn’t going to get paid. After struggling with a massively under-competitive R1 he quit the team.

Showing his incredible commitment to the sport, he funded his own TT effort, buying a brand new race-kitted Suzuki from Crescent with Bathams Brewery backing. And stepped into the Worx Suzuki void left after Sylvain Guintoli was injured at Donington.

Despite no testing, Rutter finished fifth in both Thruxton races but a series of technical glitches and minor crashes left neither him nor the team anything tangible to show from the next two rounds and he’s now been replaced by Tommy Hill for this weekend’s Mallory meeting. 

Read the latest stories causing a buzz this week in Sport…

Gary Pinchin

By Gary Pinchin