TT 2017: Rutter digs deep for fifth island victory

Michael Rutter won the Bennetts Lightweight TT on the Italian Paton.
Michael Rutter won the Bennetts Lightweight TT on the Italian Paton.

Michael Rutter rolled back the years to claim his fifth Isle of Man TT victory in the Bennetts Lightweight race.

The veteran racer was celebrating his first win since he beat John McGuinness in the TT Zero race in 2013, while his previous win on a conventional machine was achieved back in 1998.

A delighted Michael Rutter with the Lightweight TT trophy.

A delighted Michael Rutter with the Lightweight TT trophy.

Rutter (45) set the fastest lap of the race on lap two at 120.362mph. He lost almost eight seconds in the pits to eventual runner-up Martin Jessopp but had enough in reserve on the final two laps to wrap up the win by 8.8 seconds.

Peter Hickman claimed his fourth TT rostrum in four starts as he put Ulsterman Ryan Farquhar’s KMR/IEG Kawasaki on the podium in third, 40 seconds behind Jessopp.

“It’s brilliant to win another TT race, especially as I’m getting on a bit now!” Rutter said.

“You start hearing things and worrying the bike might not last when you get towards the end but it was faultless.”

Rutter’s team-mate, Stefano Bonetti, was a retirement after running in second place early on.

Ivan Lintin, who won the race for the past two years, finished fourth after dropping time in the pits.

Dan Cooper and Josh Brookes – also riding a KMR Kawasaki for Ryan Farquhar’s team – completed the top six.

Michael Dunlop finished seventh for Ulster team McAdoo Racing ahead of team-mate James Cowton.

A number of retirements included Gary Johnson at the Bungalow, Ireland’s Derek Sheils at Quarterbridge and young newcomer Adam McLean from Northern Ireland, who went out at Ballaugh when a top 10 result appeared to be on the cards.