Rutter is replacing Sylvain Guintoli who was injured last weekend at Donington Park. He came into the event with no experience of the new GSX-R1000, yet he quickly found his feet, placing sixth fastest in first free practice and working confidently through making the necessary adjustments to optimise the set-up for this circuit.
"We're so pleased with a front row start. It's been a gradual process in getting up to speed over the past two days. On Friday we purposely chose to work with just two hard tyres, working specifically on set-up and getting the bike to work at this difficult circuit. I have to say Sylvain has done a fantastic job on the base setting. The changes we have made have really only been to account for the special demands of this circuit, otherwise it's exactly as he would have it.
"The team has been great; the one-rider focus is a great luxury that I'm really enjoying. So, yes, I'm really looking forward to tomorrow. There's still work to do, but we're looking good."
Jack Valentine - team manager:
"This is a fantastic result. Michael has come into the team with no practice on the bike and very quickly got himself dialled into the set-up. We said when we took him on that he's a quality rider and as he had two podiums here we knew he could go well. As it is, his front row qualifying shows exactly the class of rider he is.
"We've had to change the bike set-up this weekend, but that's because of the circuit and not the rider. In fact Michael pretty much likes the bike set-up the way Sylvain had it. Here at Thruxton the bike spends a lot of time on the edge of its tyres at high speed while also dealing with plenty of bumps and undulations so it calls for a super stable set-up.
"We're going to try one more set-up tomorrow in warm-up, but whether that works or not I think Michael has every opportunity of two podium finishes tomorrow."
ViSK British Superbike Championship in association with Pirelli, Thruxton, Swan Combi 50 - Roll for Pole result:
1. Leon Camier (Airwaves Yamaha) 1m: 14.913s
2. James Ellison (Airwaves Yamaha) +0.339s
3. Gary Mason (Quay Garage Honda) +0.438s
4. Michael Rutter (Worx Crescent Suzuki) +0.487s
5. Glen Richards (Quay Garage Honda) +0.534s
6. Karl Harris (Hydrex Honda) +0.577s
7. Stuart Easton (Hydrex Honda) +0.617s
8. Ian Lowry (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +0.649s
9. Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda) +0.815s
10. Simon Andrews (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +0.845s