Michael Rutter with the Bathams Racing Suzuki XR69
Bathams Racing will make its Isle of Man Classic TT debut with veteran Michael Rutter at this year’s new-look event.
Rutter has competed at several Classic TTs, picking up two victories and five further podiums so far. At this year’s event, Rutter will compete in both the Classic Senior and Classic Superbike races onboard a 1100cc Suzuki XR69.
“I’ve raced at the Classic TT for a long time, and always loved it, so I was always planning to go back and race again once things got back to normal,” Rutter said. “It made sense that in line with our focus as a team this year on road racing as a priority, that we should also take part in it ourselves as a full team.
“We’ve done a few tests with the new bike and entered the Classic Revival event at Bishopscourt recently, which was brilliant. The bike is all new to us, so we needed to get to know it and find a set up that I think will work at the TT.
“The meeting at Bishopscourt was fantastic, and riding the bike a lot of fun, so I cannot wait to get back over to the Isle of Man and race it round the mountain course. Once we have completed the Classic TT, we will then take a look at what our goals are for the rest of the season and beyond.”
Following a review held last year by the Manx Motor Cycle Club and Department for Enterprise, changes have been made to the Manx Grand Prix and Classic TT events. All the races previously held under the Classic TT banner have been moved into the overall ManxGP package.
Previously, the ManxGP and Classic TT were held back-to-back over the course of 14 days, which had a big impact of the Isle of Man with regards to road closures and tax costs, as well as the resulting closures of local businesses during that period.
The new schedule will take place over nine days, beginning on August 21 and culminating on August Bank Holiday Monday (August 29). A five-race programme will be held, featuring a Senior Classic Manx Grand Prix and a Superbike Classic Manx Grand Prix.