The possible contact between rotor and stator is considered a serious malfunction that may lead to catastrophic failure. Rotor rub is seen as a secondary phenomenon caused by a primary source, i.e. sudden mass unbalance, instabilities generated by aerodynamic and hydrodynamic forces in seals and bearings among others. The contact event gives rise to normal and friction forces exerted on the rotor at impact events. The friction force plays a significant role by transferring some rotational energy of the rotor to lateral motion. A mathematical model has been developed to capture this for a conventional backup annular guide setup. It is reasonable to superpose an impact condition to the rub, where the rotor spin energy can be fully transformed into rotor lateral movements. Using a nonideal drive, i.e. an electric motor without any kind of velocity feedback control, it is even possible to stop the rotor spin under rubbing conditions. All the rotational energy will be transformed in a kind of “self-excited” rotor lateral vibration with repeated impacts against the housing. This paper studies the impact motion of a rotor impacting a conventional backup annular guide for the case of dry and lubricated inner surface of the guide. For the dry surface case, the experimental and numerical analysis shows that the rotational energy is fully transformed into lateral motion and the rotor spin is stopped. Based on this study this paper proposes a new unconventional backup bearing design in order to reduce the rub related severity in friction and center the rotor at impact events. The analysis shows that the rotor at impacts is forced to the center of the backup bearing and the lateral motion is mitigated. As a result of this, the rotor spin is kept constant.