MICHAEL Rutter has his sights set on returning to the podium at the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy this weekend.
The Kingswinford racer was first home in the second superstock race at the North West 200 in Northern Ireland two weeks ago but suffered disappointment in the latest round of British Superbikes at Snetterton last weekend, finishing 13th and 14th in the two races.
But with the TT less than a week away, Rutter has already turned his attentions to conquering the 37.73-mile Mountain Course once again.
He said: “I’ve now had 13 wins at the North West 200 which matches Joey Dunlop’s record and that makes me feel proud heading to the Isle of Man.
“The superstock bike is absolutely brilliant so that’s a race that we will be looking to do well in at the TT.
“The superbike is a real handful at the moment however and we will have a lot of work to do during practice week to improve it. Practice week is always vital.
“The lightweight race is a great addition to the schedule and should be a lot of fun, there’s a good chance for a lot of people to grab a podium.
“Everyone I speak to about the 650s has a huge smile on their face, it’s how racing should be around here.
“There’s no better feeling than standing on the podium after a race and to do that at the TT is the best of all so I would love to get that back.”
Rutter’s best chance of tasting the winner’s champagne will surely come in the TT Zero race for electric bikes.
He won the event last year at an average speed of 99.6mph, narrowly missing out on the £10,000 for the first team to complete one lap of the Mountain Course at 100mph.
Despite a stronger line-up for the electric race this year, including 17-time TT winner John McGuinness, Rutter is in confident mood.
He added: “The electric bike is something we are really targeting this year, we have a lot of data from last year when to be honest we could have lapped at 100mph.”
Meanwhile, Luke Quigley continued his upward progress in Superbikes with two points scoring finishes at Snetterton.
The Brierley Hill racer finished 13th in the opening race and then took 12th in the second.