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Michael Rutter's TT 2018 diary: part three

Tuesday was definitely a sleepless night ahead of the TT Zero race as there was a lot of pressure on both Lee (Johnston) and myself to not only win the race for Mugen but also set the first 120mph lap on an electric bike.

We had quite a few issues in practice and only managed one lap when we thought we’d get five so that was certainly on my mind as the frame broke one night when I went through the Bottom of Barregarrow which led to a massive moment which took me until the 13th Milestone to get under control. The team said we weren’t to go out again until the issues had been resolved and that meant flying parts in from Japan.

People make fun of the TT Zero race and whilst it’s obviously a shame there aren’t more bikes in the race, the ones that are aren’t hanging around – Lee did 170mph down the Sulby Straight and you have to ride them so hard through the corners – and the technology is changing all the time. And the quicker you go, the more things change.


The likes of John (McGuinness) and Bruce (Anstey) have done a great job over the years and it was a shame they weren’t out there so, hopefully, there’ll be back soon but I’d had it drilled into me about doing 120mph. I got my head down from the start and apart from the chain jumping around a bit, I had no issues.

It was a massive relief to get the win and see the lap speed – 121.824mph – and fair play to Lee and Daley (Mathison) for pushing me so hard.

I literally walked straight out of the press conference and had about five minutes to change my leathers and get ready for the Lightweight race so there certainly wasn’t any time for celebrating.

It had been a challenging week on the Paton too and I’ve got a lot of stuff going on at home too but perhaps the lack of preparation time between races helped. Paton loaned me the bike I won on last year and it was up to the Bathams Racing team to look after it – and, fair play to them, they did.

I thought there was a problem during the race with the gear lever but it was more me missing gears than anything mechanical so I just kept plugging away and my pit boards were going ‘P5, P4, P3’. I was trying to keep the revs down as the Twins are hard things to ride but I had a real go on the last lap and was pleased to have lapped at almost 121mph.

Fair play to Michael and Derek – and Ivan – as their lap times were very impressive but I was more than happy with third and two podiums in one day is something to be very happy about.

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