Record eight-time winner Michael Rutter celebrates 25 years of competing at the Macau Grand Prix this week and he’s firmly focusing on finishing on the podium once again on the MGM by Bathams Honda RCV213S.
It was at the far east venue twelve months ago that he made his debut on the exotic MotoGP machine and the vastly experienced West Midlands rider enjoyed the race immensely, finishing just 0.795s behind race winner and team-mate Peter Hickman at the end of the 12 lap race. However, he’s hoping the experience gained with riding the bike at Macau last year and at the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT in 2019 will stand him in good stead this week.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back to Macau this week and it’s a meeting that I enjoy immensely,” he told bikesportnews.com.
“It’s hard to believe it’s 25 years since I made my debut and things have changed a lot in that time but I’m obviously proud to have the record number of wins and podiums. I’m enjoying my racing as much as ever and am hungry to improve both of those figures this year.”
It’s obviously going to be very difficult as there are a lot of good riders on the entry list none more so than my team-mate Peter but I’m looking forward to riding the RCV for the second time and we’ve done quite a few updates to the bike since we were there with it last year.”
“The electronics play a big part but we’ve done a lot of work with the traction control so that it won’t cut in as much whilst we’ve made a number of changes to the chassis as well including shortening the wheelbase, both of which we hope will help me when I’m out on track.”
With no opportunities to test at the track, proof will only come once practice gets underway, a fact Rutter is quick to acknowledge but with all of last year’s event plus the time spent at the NW200 and TT on the bike, albeit in far from ideal weather conditions, he’s confident the changes will be positive.
“Until practice gets underway we won’t know if the changes will have actually worked as, obviously, there’s no chance of trying them out on the circuit until we actually get here. At the same time, I’m really looking forward to the meeting and am confident the changes will pay dividends so I’m definitely looking to get back onto the podium.”