Superbe 3eme place pour Simon Andrews
Michael Rutter was in a class of his own as he triumphed for a
record eighth time at the 46th Macau Grand Prix this morning.
The British Superbike stalwart held off a determined bid from Riders
Ducati ace Martin Jessopp to win by almost five seconds as he
underlined his status as the master of the Guia street circuit.
Simon Andrews, back in action for the first time after recovering
from severe injuries following a crash in the Superbike race at the
Isle of Man TT in June, filled the final place on the rostrum with a
superb ride to third on the Ice Valley BMW.
The top six was completed by Lincolnshire's Gary Johnson on the
Quattro Plant Honda followed by Austrian competitor Horst Saiger
(Saiger Kawasaki) and Conor Cummins on the Tyco Suzuki.
John McGuinness, who qualified in second place, was seventh on
the second of Robin Croft's SMT Honda Fireblades after
overshooting at Lisboa, finishing ahead of Jimmy Storrar, Dan
Kneen and James Hillier.
Rutter moved into the lead on lap one after Johnson briefly hit the
front and quickly established an advantage of 1.6 seconds over the
chasing pack of Johnson, McGuinness and Andrews.
Jessopp was soon the man on the move after a less than perfect
start from the front row left him in sixth position.
Andrews edged ahead of McGuinness on the third lap and then ran
wide on the brakes as he attempted to wrestle second place away
from Johnson, who retook the position as Andrews slipped to fourth
when Jessopp picked off a place at the start of lap four.
Rutter was continuing to stretch his lead on the SMT Honda and has
established a cushion of 3.6 seconds by the time Jessopp squeezed
ahead of Johnson on the exit of Melco hairpin.
Jessopp put in a succession of fast laps on the big Ducati to reduce
the deficit to Rutter to 2.6 seconds, but the experienced West
Midlands rider soon responded to the danger and began to pull
away once more as the race reached a climax.
Andrews was now into third place on the S1000-RR after demoting
Johnson to fourth, while McGuinness overshot at Lisboa and
dropped to sixth as he too tried to find a way past Johnson in the
Rutter's official margin of victory after 10 laps was 4.9s over
Jessopp as the pair repeated last year's result.
Steve Mercer was 11th ahead of James McBride, with Irishman
Steve Heneghan on the Quattro Plant Kawasaki 18th.
Newcomer Jamie Hamilton was 20th on the RPM Performance
Kawasaki, one place behind fellow Northern Irishman Davy Morgan.