Rutter, who has both 500cc Grand Prix and World Superbike Championship points under his belt in addition to his BSB experience, joins Michael Laverty in a two-man team. Rutter will also contest the 2006 International North West 200 and the 2006 Macau Grand Prix for the team.
“I’m very pleased to be joining the Stobart Motorsport team as they made it very clear that they really wanted me from the start,” said Rutter. “I was fortunate to have a number of lucrative offers for 2006, but I have chosen to go with Birdy as I think I have a chance of winning. I can’t wait to start testing.”
Both Rutter and Laverty will ride Honda CBR1000RR Fireblades for The Mob, Vent-Axia and VK Vodka Kick backed team. Team owner Paul Bird is delighted to have secured the services of a rider he has admired for many seasons.
“This is fantastic news for us as we’ve tried many times before to sign Michael [Rutter],” he said. “However, for various reasons, it has never happened. We’ve never looked forward to working with anyone so much before and we know Michael will do a good job for us. These are exciting times for Stobart Motorsport and signing Michael is the icing on the cake!”
Rutter started racing in 1989 before progressing to British Championship level in the 1991 Superteen series. Barring one year (1999) whereby he contested a full season of 500cc Grands Prix, Rutter has been ever-present in the British Superbike Championship. His total tally includes 25 wins and 65 podium finishes. He has also achieved 16 pole positions from his 229 BSB starts.