Handling troubles for Rutter

First published in Sport

KINGSWINFORD'S Michael Rutter has had a frustrating start in the opening races of the Isle of Man TT.

After finishing fifth in Saturday's first contest, he then came ninth after Monday's action when he was hampered by handling troubles.

On Saturday, the six-lap Dainese Superbike race was won by Michael Dunlop in record-breaking style.

The BMW Motorrad rider took control from early race leader James Hillier at Ballaugh on the opening lap and, aided by two laps inside the old outright lap record, he surged clear and was able to control the race in the closing stages to take the win by 20.5 seconds from Guy Martin (Tyco Suzuki) with Conor Cummins (Honda Racing) in third.

Rutter clocked in at 01:46:48.186 for fifth.

However, on Monday, he hovered around the bottom end of the top 12 for much of the race before finally finishing ninth.

He said: "I've been struggling all week with handling problems and no matter what we've tried, we haven't been able to get to the bottom of it so it's been frustrating to say the least. The steering damper came right round during the race and I wasn't comfortable with the wet roads over the mountain but as the race wore on I got more and more used to the bike and it's nice to have ended up inside the top ten."

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