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TT 2017: Michael Rutter’s Diary - part one

Here we are again at the TT and although I arrived on the island late due to riding in the Superstock round at Donington, I didn't miss anything due to the weather so it was nice not to be behind anyone in terms of laps.

I was pretty happy with how the first night's practice went and wasn't holding on to the bars too tightly or getting out of breath - it was just a nice four laps. Conditions weren't ideal and although 99% of the course was dry, it was a bit damp in some strange places and you couldn't be sure exactly where was damp. There were some puddles on the white lines on the edges of the circuit but I don't plan to be out that wide anyway!

I went out first on the Paton Lightweight, which is the same team I rode for in 2015 when I finished third, and it's still the nicest sounding bike on the grid. It was the first time the bike had turned a wheel but it felt good and although we've got some distance to go in terms of the speeds, it was nice to end the session fastest.


After that, it was onto the Bathams/SMT Racing BMW Superbike for a lap which was a bit of shock going from a bike going at 150mph to one going a 190mph! It was a bit of a wake up call but I soon got used to it so had a steady run round and then got a fourth and final lap on the Stocker.

With it being the bike I ride all year, I'm a lot more confident with it and although it was very busy out on track, I got a reasonable lap time in. I caught Bruce (Anstey) going into Kirk Michael and he didn't seem to be going that quick but when I had a look back coming out of the Creg, he was still on my back wheel so obviously latched onto me and had a bit of a go.

The weather conditions aren't ideal but it doesn't really affect me too much not necessarily because of my experience but because we rode the same bikes last year. I wouldn't go as far to say I'm ready to race already but we have our base settings from 2016 and have a good idea of what we need to do this time around.

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