Michael Rutter is well placed for a seventh Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix victory after a stunning display in Saturday's qualifying session. Much of the build-up had been washed out by torrential rain but Rutter took control when conditions calmed down for qualifying.
The RidersMotorcycles.com rider all but matched his 2010 pole time to pull out a full three second advantage over his nearest challenger John McGuinness, a former Macau GP winner in his own right, but the 39 year old is refusing to get carried away ahead of Sunday's race.
“Even though my time was similar to last year, it means nothing. We have to wait until tomorrow and the race to see if I really can win.”
McGuinness' hopes of threatening Rutter's pole time of 2:23.794 were dashed by traffic on the tight confines of Macau but admitted Rutter always had an answer regardless of how quick he went, “every time I got close, Rutter did a better time”, he added.
After a tough year as he strived to return from injury, Ian Hutchinson marked his comeback with an impressive third for Swan Yamaha. 'Hutchy' will be followed by Martin Jessopp and TT 2011 race winner Gary Johnson as the British riders sealed a lockout of the top five places.
The American challenge will be led by Jeremy Toye and Michael Barnes who start sixth and seventh respectively while neither of the local riders, Joao Fernandes and Sou Sio Hong managed to qualify outright.
City of Dreams Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix – 45th Edition
|2||John McGuinness||GBR||Honda||Roadhouse SMT Honda||+3.157|
|3||Ian Hutchinson||GBR||Yamaha||Swan Yamaha||+4.117|
|5||Gary Johnson||GBR||Suzuki||IGT Suzuki by TAS||+4.220|
|6||Jeremy Toye||USA||Kawasaki||IGT Kawasaki Racing Team||+4.419|
|7||Michael Barnes||USA||Kawasaki||Attack Performance Kawasaki||+4.848|
|8||James Storrar||GBR||BMW||IseeMacau.com BMW by DMR||+5.185|
|10||Conor Cummins||GBR||Kawasaki||IGT Kawasaki Racing Team||+5.889|
|11||Steve Mercer||GBR||Honda||Jentin Racing||+6.158|
|12||James Hillier||GBR||Kawasaki||Mocha Club Bournemouth Kawasaki||+6.461|
|15||William Dunlop||GBR||Honda||Wilson Craig Racing||+8.285|
|16||Michael Dunlop||GBR||Kawasaki||IGT Kawasaki Racing Team||+8.292|
|17||Didier Grams||GER||Suzuki||Heidger-RTG-Suzuki Muller||+8.714|
|18||Stephen Thompson||GBR||Honda||Roadhouse T & R Motorsport||+9.152|
|19||James McBride||GBR||BMW||PB Motorsport||+10.134|
|20||Mark Miller||USA||Aprilia||Splitlath Motorsport||+10.329|
|21||Chris Clark||USA||Yamaha||Yes-Pcs-Graves Yamaha||+11.161|
|22||Sean Dwyer||USA||BMW||Locust-Lee's Cycle||+11.435|
|23||Paul Shoesmith||GBR||BMW||PB Motorsport||+11.875|
|24||Michal Dokoupil||CZE||BMW||IseeMacau.com BMW by DMR||+12.701|
|110% Qualifying Time: 2:38.173 (+14.369)|
|25||Joao Fernandes||MAC||BMW||Team of Paris||+16.335|
|26||Nuno Caetano||POR||Suzuki||HM Racing Team||+18.005|
|27||Sou Sio Hong||MAC||Honda||SOU Sio Hong||+19.724|