With just three rounds remaining and both HM Plant Honda Racing riders
among the only three realistic contenders for the title, the team is
heading to Oulton Park with intentions of a double victory. However,
both Michael Rutter and team-mate Ryuichi Kiyonari are aiming for the
two race wins.
Rutter approaches the Cheshire circuit with a two-point deficit from
championship leader Gregorio Lavilla, while team-mate Ryuichi Kiyonari
is just seven points further behind Rutter. With such a minor points
difference, both HM Plant Honda Racing riders are focussing on claiming
the title for the Japanese manufacturer.
The 32-year-old Midlander has a greater knowledge and experience of the
track than his rivals and he is hoping to use this to regain the
advantage in the series. He also has the confidence that comes from
winning a race and finishing second at the Cheshire track earlier this
year for round four of the series.
However, with ten race victories already secured this season, Kiyonari
has proved that a lack of circuit knowledge is no guaranteed hindrance.
The 22-year-old Japanese rider has only raced at Oulton Park once
before, so he is determined to make the most of the free practice and
qualifying sessions to perfect the set-up of the HM Plant Honda Racing
Michael Rutter: "I need to treat the rest of the season as a new season
now because there is still everything left to play for. I must
concentrate on making sure that I'm back up there in every race to
regain the lead. We've made a few changes to the HM Plant Honda, so
hopefully things should go better for me this weekend. I'm just hoping
that the weather stays dry, but I'm sure I'm not alone on that count"
Ryuichi Kiyonari: "I don't know Oulton Park very well, but I think it is
a difficult circuit. Michael is strong there so it will be difficult to
beat him, but I am going to try hard to win the races and the
championship for HM Plant Honda Racing. This is the most difficult part
of the season for me now because I like the last two tracks - Donington
Park and Brands Hatch - that we are going to."