Rutter and Thompson reunited at BMW

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2014 Bathams BMW riders Michael Rutter and Stephen Thompson will be reunited for the 2015 road racing season at former TT racer Rico Penzkofer’s BMW team. Bathams, a personal sponsor of Rutter’s, is set to join the newly renamed Bathams by BMW Motorrad team.

On factory-supported machines thanks to former Endurance World Champion Penzkofer’s links with the Munich factory, the duo will take in the North West 200, Isle of Man TT and Macau Grand Prix, where Rutter will seek to extend his dominance of the event by taking a record ninth win.

Rutter has already tested alongside the team’s FIM World Endurance riders Markus Reiterberger, Bastien Mackels and Pedro Vallcaneras, at last week’s BMW Motorrad camp at Almeria. Close friend Thompson and him will also be joined on the roads by the team’s continuing Canadian rider Dan Kruger.

Speaking after the announcement, Rutter, who is set to sit out this year’s MCE British Superbike championship for the first time in over a decade, commented: “I am very happy to ride for the team even though it looked a bit like a long shot as the team is based in Germany. Obviously they have the best bikes available for this job and I am pretty confident that we can put the things together the way I need them and being competitive.

“I am not finished yet – especially not with the North West and Macau where I would like to add on another win even though the competition isn’t getting any easier. The TT is a bit of a different story but I am looking forward to go around the MountainCcourse with the bikes I will have and the team behind me – I’m targeting top six finishes. There are still lots of work to do at all ends for the team and myself, but I can fully focus on the job now after everything got sorted.”

Thompson added: “After riding with the team at Macau last season I am happy to be part of this professional and highly thought-of team. I’m hoping they can continue to help me gain good results at the North West and especially the TT as I have struggled a little the last couple of years. With the rest of the roads such as the Ulster GP, Frohburg and Macau we should not be far away with good results. Also, it’s nice to be team mates with Michael Rutter again.”

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer