Michael Rutter tops practice and qualifying 1 at Macau GP

Michael Rutter has kicked off the campaign for his ninth Macau GP victory by setting the fastest times in practice and qualifying 1.

Practice started at 7.30am local time on a dry track. It was an hour long session and riders completed a number of laps as they got used to the track. After completing 16 laps Rutter ended the session 2.348s clear of James Storrar, with a lap-time of 2:27.489. Horst Saiger finished in third with a 2:30.686.

The top ten were as follows:

  1. Michael Rutter 2:27.489
  2. James Storrar 2:27.489
  3. Horst Saiger 2:30.686
  4. John McGuinness 2:31.264
  5. Ian Hutchinson 2:31.540
  6. Martin Jessopp 2:32.121
  7. Gary Johnson 2:32.598
  8. Jeremy Toye 2:32.612
  9. Stephen Thompson 2:32.724
  10. Didier Grams 2:33.102

Dan Kneen and Roman Stamm completed the most laps with 20 apiece. Dean Harrison had a problem that limited him to only four laps.

Next up was qualifying which started at 3.50pm local time, with slightly warmer track temperatures than morning practice. Rutter was once again fastest, taking 1.5 seconds off his practice time. This time John McGuinness followed him, 1.528 seconds down with Martin Jessopp just seven hundredths of a second further back  in third.

The top ten were as follows:

  1. Michael Rutter 2:25.975
  2. John McGuiness 2:27.503
  3. Martin Jessopp 2:27.567
  4. Ian Hutchinson 2:28.183
  5. James Storrar 2:28.293
  6. Jeremy Toye 2:28.775
  7. Didier Grams 2:29.045
  8. Horst Sager 2:29.263
  9. Gary Johnson 2:29.295
  10. Stephen Thompson 2:30.326

Rutter was amongst a group of five riders who completed the most laps (17) along with Hutchinson, Harrison, Dan Cooper, Andre Pires and Allann-Jon Venter. Brian McCormack, Brandon Cretu and Nuno Caetano were outside the qualification maxima time of 2:40.572.

Qualifying continues tomorrow morning at 7.30am (local time) and live timing can be followed at the MST Systems website.

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