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Rutter eyes up Dunlop record - January 12th 2006


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    Multiple winner Michael Rutter will be the leading personality at the launch of this year's international North West 200.

    Rutter, who has won at the North West 11 times - an overseas record - will be accompanied by another North West winner John McGuinness at a special occasion in the Waterfront Hall next Tuesday when the promoters, Coleraine Motor Club, will announce a new sponsor for the year.

    Rutter said: "I'm excited about my chances in the North West for I am riding a Honda for the Stobart team which is managed by Paul Bird.

    "My biggest hopes obviously will come in the Superbike races, but I reckon that McGuinness will be my major rival because he is now attached to the Honda team whom I rode for last year.

    "There is sure to be intense rivalry because of this." Rutter has his eyes on the all-time record of 14 wins set by Robert Dunlop.

    His teammate in the British Championship this year will be Ulster's Michael Laverty, but he will confine his activities to the short circuit scene.

    Meanwhile, McGuinness - who will attend the launch of this year's Isle of Man TT at the weekend - will be hoping to score his first Superbike success at the North West.

    In the past his only wins had been in the smaller classes, but there is every chance he will break the ice this time.