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Rutter grabs three podiums as Bathams Racing wheels out the all-new BMW at Darley Moor

Michael Rutter secured three podiums while his team-mate a grabbed a win as Bathams Racing tested out their BMWs ahead of their 2021 motorbike campaigns.

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Brierley Hill's Rutter, returning team rider Taylor Mackenzie and the whole Black Country-based Bathams Racing team travelled to Darley Moor, in Derbyshire, to test out the latest BMW M1000RR.

Having recently taken delivery of the ultra exclusive machine, Rutter said everyone in the team could not wait to try it out and had been working hard behind the scenes to get it ready to race at round two of the Darley Moor championship.

With the M1000RR race ready, Mackenzie rode the machine while being supported by team manager Rutter, who was out on the BMW S1000RR.

And in the opening Allcomers class race, for bikes with engines up to 1300cc, Bathams Racing secured two podiums with Mackenzie on the top step and Rutter third.

The pair – who will both be competing in the National Superstock 1000 class when the British Superbike season returns in June – were back out again the Open Solos/Pre-injection open class, and this time Rutter got the better of this team-mate, finishing one place ahead in second while posting the fastest lap of the race.

Rutter again showed he still has plenty of pace as he nears his 49th birthday picking up another second in the final Open Solos/Pre-injection open class race – again posting the fastest lap –with Mackenzie this time slipping to fourth.

Rutter said: "The racing at Darley Moor was just brilliant and a lot of fun. Even 32 years after I started racing, lining up on a grid waiting for the race to start is still the best feeling ever.

"I only did one race last season at Brands Hatch, so it's safe to say I wasn't at my best – it's been about 18 months since I did any regular racing and I'm not getting any younger.

"I really should know better and I wish I was 10 years younger!

"It's a shame we couldn't get our second M1000RR turned around in time for this weekend but to be honest the new M1000RR is so unbelievably trick we just had to race it and start getting to know it as soon as we possibly could.

"I must say thanks to BMW and our sponsors for helping us get the bike and prepare it in time.

"Coming to Darley Moor to debut the bike was really special for me.

"My dad [Tony Rutter] used to come with me to Darley Moor when I first started racing 32 years ago and I think he would have loved the idea of me still travelling to the circuit early in the morning with a bike in the back of a van.

"In fact, I'm sure if he was still here he would have come along for the day to see the new bike and visit the circuit too."

Wednesbury's Neil Lloyd was also back in action at Darley Moor, competing in the Classic and Forgotten Era class, picking up a fourth and third-placed finish as he looks to claim a top 10 finish in the Classic Racing Motorcycle Club (CRMC) championship.

Lloyd said: "I started the first race in 17th and finished 11th, which was fourth in the classic 500cc class.

"Lap times were down on last year’s but it was the first race of the year, so I wasn't too worried and the aim was to start further up the grid for the second race."

Starting his second race from 11th on the grid, Lloyd finished ninth over all and third class.

"It was had a good day's racing and it blew the cobwebs off," he said.

"The engine ran well but we suffered all day with a bad wobble from the front, so we're going to get wheel and disk checked out before Mallory Park.

"It was a busy weekend, which started with the madness that is free-tech on Friday.

"The full day's practice showed some faults with our Frankenstein bike, the biggest one being the 11-year-old tyres, then one of our riders was took out, which finished the day for him.

"The first race on the Sunday went well, after having a few problems in qualifying and still running in the engine, and came away feeling confident for the CRMC round at Mallory in May.

"With everything going well at Darley, we may even be doing EMRA at Mallory Park, before the CRMC round is held there, to get a bit more track time and running in time for the bike."

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