Roads: Michael Rutter set for TT and NW200 return with Bathams Racing

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Michael Rutter and the Bathams Racing BMW racing team will return to the Isle of Man TT and North West 200 road racing events this season.

At the NW200, Rutter will compete in the Superbike and Superstock races onboard the team’s BMW M1000RR. Rutter enters the 2022 event with 14 race wins to his name, and a total of 34 podiums around the Triangle Course.

His 14 wins place Rutter third on the all-time record list, placed behind Alastair Seeley (24) and Robert Dunlop (15). Only Seeley has more podiums that Rutter at the NW200 (36).

Rutter will then return to the Isle of Man, 28 years after making his TT debut. He’ll start his 73rd TT race from the number three start slot, racing in the Superbike, Superstock and Senior TT classes – once again on the M1000RR.

“Like a lot of people, I’m so happy that road racing is back on the agenda for 2022,” Rutter said. “It seems like a lifetime since we’ve been able to race on the roads, and like everyone else I can’t wait to get back out there. Road racing has always been a big part of Bathams Racing, and the whole team have really missed it, so we’ve decided to initially focus all our time and effort on the Northwest 200 and Isle of Man TT races for 2022.

“I’m 50 years old now, so really should know better, but my love for road racing is the same today as it ever was, so giving it a miss after the two-year break never entered my mind. The only thought I had was getting back out there again. The challenge of the roads is unique, especially the TT, so we’ve hit pause on competing in the British Championship so the team can focus 100% on me at the Northwest 200 and TT.”

Rutter’s first victory at the TT came in 1998, winning the Junior TT onboard a Honda. He’s gone on to win six more races at the infamous Mountain Course, taking victory in the TT Zero class in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2018, and 2019, as well as the Lightweight class in 2017.

Rutter will confirm his plans for the rest of the race season once the TT has finished.