BSB: Michael Rutter to pay tribute to father Tony Rutter at Brands Hatch

Michael Rutter will pay tribute to his late father Tony Rutter at Brands Hatch tomorrow by running his famous 1980’s Ducati paint scheme.

Tony Rutter passed away on March 24, at the age of 78, following a short illness. Now, son Michael Rutter will swap his traditional black and gold Bathams Racing livery for the red and blue used by Tony during his spell with Ducati in the early 1980s. The team unveiled the new-look bike this evening in a presentation alongside an original Formula Ducati rode by Tony Rutter.

“I thought it would nice be to paint the bike in my dad’s colours,” Rutter told MCN at Brands Hatch. “Unfortunately, we couldn’t really do anything for him at the time because of the whole Covid-19 thing – I think we had nine people at the funeral – so it’s nice to do something this weekend.

“My dad really used to enjoy riding his Ducatis. I’ve also got a set of leathers which I had made by Alpinestars about four years ago for the Classic TT when I rode a Ducati like my dad’s. I’ve got a helmet painted too! Shoei have kindly done a replica of my dad’s helmet so it should look pretty cool.”

Tony Rutter won seven times at the Isle of Man TT between 1973 and 1985, and he also won nine races at the North West 200. He also won two British titles, securing the 1971 350cc and 1973 250cc crowns.

It was his performances in the Formula Two World Championship that would make him synonymous with Ducati. At a difficult time for the Italian manufacturer, he captured four consecutive F2 titles on the 600cc Ducati between 1981 and 1984.

“My dad won the same number of world titles as Foggy did for Ducati. He has been forgotten about a little bit but that’s nobody’s fault other than my dad’s because he just was not bothered about doing any publicity – he was just interested in racing bikes.

“He kept himself to himself. I’m bad but he was terrible. You do get forgotten about quickly, but I don’t think my dad minded that, he just enjoyed what he was doing, and I know that he’d be happy seeing this bike going around Brands Hatch.”

Rutter received permission from BMW to run the Ducati colours on his S1000RR in the Superstock 1000 class tomorrow. The Ducati branding from the original bike has been replaced by the Rutter name, which remains in the same font used by Ducati. It’s the first time that Rutter has competed this season and he’ll start the race from 12th on the grid.

“I haven’t raced since Macau so it will be good for me to get out there. It’s my 31st year of racing and I didn’t want to miss a year – I haven’t missed one since I started racing.”