MICHAEL Rutter’s efforts to compete in this year’s Isle of Man Classic TT were rewarded in part this week when he led the Bennetts 500cc Classic TT race last Saturday.

Riding for Ripley Land on a Matchless G50, KIngswinford's Rutter moved into first place holding a 22 second lead, until engine failure on lap three cut his chances short of taking the win in the four lap race.

It was an amazing feat for Rutter and the Ripley Land Matchless, lapping over 109mph around the 37 and three quarter mile mountain circuit, to set a new record in becoming the fastest man ever on a British single cylinder.

Rutter said: “The bike was amazing to ride and it’s great to be part of the Classic TT, but we had a problem with our practice engine in the first nights practice, so unfortunately that meant we had to start using our race engine during practice week and every lap done is very precious on theses engines. It’s a long way for them to go around the Isle of Man.

"We cut short Friday night’s practice to save the engine but unfortunately lapping at the speeds we were, the engine didn’t make the four laps of the race. I’m gutted really as it would have been amazing for us to win but It’s ace to now hold the lap record, that’s something to be proud of."

Rutter returns to compete with Bathams Prizewinning Ales aboard his BMW S1000RR in the British Superbike Championship at Donington Park on September 5-7.