Bol d'Or: Rutter secures 11th hour deal to start Bol d'Or

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Michael Rutter has secured an 11th hour deal that will see him compete in this afternoon's Bol d'Or 24hr race at Magny Cours.

The Honda TT Legends rider was dropped from his starting spot by the team after reserve rider Michael Dunlop set the fastest time of the team in final qualifying, but will replace Thomas Metro of the National Motos Honda team.

The National Motos team, supported by France's biggest Honda dealership chain, are one of the most experienced teams in the Endurance World Championship, and have a strong pedigree in the class, winning the 2006 Le Mans 24hr.

Rutter will join Oliver Four and Greg Junot on the Fireblade. Four is an endurance specialist who has won seven 24hr races in the past, most recently last year's Bol d'Or with the factory Kawasaki team.

Rutter told MCN "I would have loved to ride the Honda TT Legends bike, but I wasn't quick enough, and young Michael was absolutly flying, so it was only fair that he rode it. But then Honda Europe came and asked if I would ride just a bit for the team, not the whole thing. It's ideal for me - it lets me experience a 24hr race while not pushing beyond the limit of my injured leg."

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer