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BSB - Rutter's reign at Croft continues - June 2nd 2005

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    Michael Rutter has continued his reign at Croft by securing pole position for tomorrow's two 22-lap Bennetts British Superbike Championship races. It follows the Leicestershire rider's double victory at the North Yorkshire circuit in 2004 aboard the HM Plant Honda Racing CBR1000RR Fireblade.

    The competition at the 2.172-mile track has been extremely strong throughout the weekend so far. So much so that the Midlander spent part of the afternoon's qualifying session in the lower part of the top ten - unfamiliar territory for Rutter this season.

    However, with his mind on doing everything possible to help him maintain his championship lead tomorrow, the 32-year-old recorded a best time of 1:20.624 and seized first place on the grid. It was also fast enough for Rutter to set a new unofficial lap record.

    His HM Plant Honda Racing team-mate Ryuichi Kiyonari will start from the opposite end of the front row in fourth position after setting a best time of 1:20.954. The 22-year-old Japanese rider had held pole position for much of the day's second qualifying session, however he was unable to maintain his place as the pace setter. The final second saw him forced from second position to fourth by team-mate Rutter and Red Bull Honda's Jonathan Rea, who claimed third place.

    Michael Rutter: "I'm really pleased to have got pole position. Croft is a good circuit for me, and the HM Plant Honda Racing CBR1000RR Fireblade, but the competition here this weekend is extremely strong. I knew that it was important to give myself any edge possible over the opposition, particularly Kiyo, if I've got any chance of maintaining my advantage in the series."

    Ryuichi Kiyonari: "I am still adapting to Croft, so I am happy to be in fourth place. I missed the test here recently so I am a little behind the other riders in terms of practice. We have been working on perfecting the set-up of the HM Plant Honda Racing CBR1000RR Fireblade and I am happy that we will be able to get a good result in tomorrow's races."


  1. 1. M. Rutter (HM Plant Honda Racing) 1:20.624
  2. 2. D. Thomas (Kawasaki) 1:20.628
  3. 3. J. Rea (Red Bull Honda) 1:20.904
  4. 4. R. Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda Racing) 1:20.954
  5. 5. K. Harris ( 1:21.157
  6. 6. G. Richards (Kawasaki) 1:21.452
  7. 7. L. Haslam (Ducati) 1:21.520
  8. 8. M. Laverty (Honda) 1:21.571
  9. 9. S. Plater (Kawasaki) 1:21.619
  10. 10. J. Buckingham (Suzuki) 1:21.624