A glitch with the brakes on the Worx Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000, caused by a melted tyre warmer, created a delay for the team in the middle of the second qualifying session (in the Swan Combi 50 Roll-for-Pole). While the team quickly rectified the situation, with over seven minutes to the end of the session, critically it began to rain just as Rutter returned to the track. In Jack Valentine's own words, "we were snookered".
Jack Valentine, team manager: "That was a disaster. We had the smallest problem, literally some material melted from the tyre warmers onto the discs, but it came at a critical time. Everything with the bike was bang on and we knew from the sector times of the previous laps that Michael was ready to put in a good lap."
The disappointment followed the euphoria of three very positive free practice sessions that culminated in Rutter posting second fastest time, barely two-tenths of a second behind tomorrow's polesitter Leon Camier.
Michael Rutter: "This isn't the result we were due. All through practice we've been very strong and I'm delighted with the set-up we have on the GSX-R1000. That second fastest time in practice is a better reflection of how well prepared we are.
"Now it's going to be a lot of work to make the results we're looking for podiums. In years gone by if you had a works bike you practically had your own lane, so you could make up the places easily. Now, there are good bikes right down the grid.
"What happened was just one of those things. And it couldn't have come at a worse time, but we'll just have to do the best we can."
Jack Valentine: "One positive thing we can add is Michael's been putting together some very good practice starts today. So let's hope he can put two of those together tomorrow. He should get into the top-10 pretty quickly, after that it'll be harder work. But he's shown he has the lap speed. And he knows what's at stake. I think we can expect some very exciting racing from Michael tomorrow."
Swan Combi 50 - Roll for Pole result:
1. Leon Camier (Airwaves Yamaha) 1m:04.930s
2. James Ellison (Airwaves Yamaha) +0.477s
3. Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda) +0.525s
4. Stuart Easton (Hydrex Honda) +0.555s
5. Julien Da Costa (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +0.576s
6. Simon Andrews (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +0.586s
7. Ian Lowry (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +0.634s
8. Chris Walker (Motorpoint/Henderson Yamaha) +0.669s
9. John Laverty (Buildbase Kawasaki) +0.710s
10. Jason O'Halloran (SMT Honda) +0.759s
20. Michael Rutter (Worx Crescent Suzuki)