With the absence of his team-mate Ryuichi Kiyonari due to injury, the sole representative of the HM Plant Honda Racing team moved into sixth place from pole position and set about picking off his rivals. The 31-year-old passed Gary Mason on lap three, Karl Harris on lap four and Gregorio Lavilla on lap five. With just Dean Thomas and Glen Richards in front of him, it took the current championship leader only one more lap to hit the front, from where he opened up a commanding lead.
A rain shower before the second Superbike race played havoc with everyone’s plans, making tyre choice a lottery for all competitors. Rutter got the holeshot into turn one on his Michelin-shod CBR1000RR Fireblade. However, as the sun came out, he began to struggle in the drying conditions and by half-race distance was passed by Karl Harris and Leon Haslam. The championship leader moved back into second position when Harris made a mistake at Foulston Chicane. He then rode as hard as he could to challenge Haslam for the lead again but, despite a last lap passing attempt at the chicane, Rutter was forced to settle for second place.
Michael Rutter: “In Kiyonari’s absence, it was important for me to maintain HM Plant Honda Racing’s advantage in this year’s series. The bike has been absolutely fantastic here today, which made my task easier. The team is working so hard at the moment and it’s great to see the rewards. I’m trying to get as many points as I can over my injured team-mate, because he’ll be the one to look out for when he returns.”
Superbike race one result: 1. M. Rutter (HM Plant Honda Racing) 29:43.001; 2. G. Lavilla (Ducati) +3.797; 3. K. Harris (Honda-Racing.co.uk) + 5.171; 4. L. Haslam (Ducati) +5.290; 5. G. Richards (Kawasaki) +6.426; 6. D. Thomas (Kawasaki) +7.293; 7. G. Mason (Honda) +16.935; 8. J. Haydon (Suzuki) +21.606; 9. S. Smart (Suzuki) +21.729; 10. K. Clarke (Honda) +22.430; 12. J. Rea (Red Bull Honda) +27.208
Fastest lap: 1:37.967 – M. Rutter (lap 7)
Superbike race two result: 1. L.Haslam (Ducati) 32.41.250; 2.M.Rutter (HM Plant Honda Racing) +1.031; 3.K.Harris (Honda-Racing.co.uk) + 3.594; 4.J.Haydon (Suzuki) + 3.761; 5.J Da Costa (Kawasaki) + 23.928; 6.G.Richards (Kawasaki) + 27.035; 7.S.Plater (Kawasaki) + 33.294; 8.K.Clarke (Honda) + 33.616; 9.J.Rea (Red Bull Honda) + 33.814; 10.M.Laverty (Honda) + 47.750
Fastest lap: 1.45.906 – D.Thomas (Lap 18)
Championship points after 4 rounds: 1.Rutter – 164; 2.Lavilla – 108; 3.Richards – 104; 4.Kiyonari – 100; 5.Haslam – 100; 6.Harris – 80; 7.Emmett – 70; 8.Thomas – 65; 9.Smart – 43; 10.Mason – 39;