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Easton fastest in Macau first qualifying.

2008 Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix winner Stuart Easton set a new qualifying lap record on his way to provisional pole for this Saturday's 43rd Edition of the Far East Classic.

The 26-year-old lapped the street circuit in 2min 25.476sec to top the leaderboard by over 1.6sec from closest rival Michael Rutter, a six-time winner of the event.

Easton, riding the Hydrex IGT Honda 1000 he has raced so successfully in BSB this season, was ultra-cautious in the morning free practice due to the dusty condition of the track - but, eight hours later, he was in supreme form and his rivals could not match his pace.

36-year-old fellow Briton Rutter was riding a Kawasaki 1000 for the Paris-AXA racing squad for the first time and, despite his lack of practice on the machine, looked confident after being fastest in the morning session.

It was a good day for Kawasaki, with four machines on the top six, and Great Britain, with seven riders in the top ten.

30-year-old Yorkshireman Ian Hutchinson (PBM Kawasaki WSBK Team) was third fastest, half a second behind Rutter, with 23-year-old Manxman Conor Cummins - also on a Paul Bird Motorsport machine - a quarter of a second slower in fourth place.

Veteran American Mike Barnes, on the third PBM Kawasaki WSBK Team entry was sixth fastest, a fifth of a second behind one of the surprises of the day; Rico Penzkofer on a factory BMW, a machine racing in Macau for the very first time.

Tiago Magalhaes, the 25-year-old Portuguese racer was fastest in the Supersport 600 class on an AG Racing Suzuki, two seconds quicker than local racer Joao Fernandes (Cubic Macau Racing Team Yamaha).

36-year-old Frenchman Amaury Baratin (Team of Paris-AXA Racing Triumph 675) was third best in the Supersport class.

The final qualifying session for Saturday's 43rd running of the 15-lap race will be held tomorrow (Friday).


Macau first qualifying - top 10:

1. Stuart Easton GBR Hydrex IGT Honda 2min 25.476sec
2. Michael Rutter GBR Team of Paris - AXA Racing +1.636sec
3. Ian Hutchinson GBR PBM Kawasaki WSBK Team +2.098sec
4. Conor Cummins IOM PBM Kawasaki WSBK Team +2.269sec
5. Rico Penzkofer GER BMW Macau Racing Team +3.221sec
6. Mike Barnes USA PBM Kawasaki WSBK Team +3.479sec
7. Stephen Thompson GBR Robinson Concrete Honda +3.796sec
8. John McGuinness GBR Hydrex IGT Honda 3.981sec
9. Gary Johnson GBR AIM Racing 4.302sec
10. Jeremy Toye USA Lee Cycles Racing 4.598sec



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Stuart Easton.
Stuart Easton, Honda, Macau 2009 (Pic: CGPM)
Michael Laverty, Tyco BMW, BSB [Credit: ianhopgoodphotography.net]
Michael Laverty, Tyco BMW, BSB [Credit: ianhopgoodphotography.net]
Michael Laverty, Tyco BMW, BSB [Credit: ianhopgoodphotography.net]
Michael Laverty, Tyco BMW, BSB [Credit: ianhopgoodphotography.net]
Michael Laverty, Tyco BMW, BSB [Credit: ianhopgoodphotography.net]
Stuart Easton, Moto Rapido Ducati [Credit: ianhopgoodphotography.net]
Michael Laverty, Tyco BMW, BSB [Credit: ianhopgoodphotography.net]
Michael Laverty, Tyco BMW, BSB [Credit: ianhopgoodphotography.net]
Michael Laverty, Tyco BMW, BSB [Credit: ianhopgoodphotography.net]
Stuart Easton, Moto Rapido Ducati [Credit: ianhopgoodphotography.net]
Michael Laverty, Tyco BMW, BSB [Credit: ianhopgoodphotography.net]
Michael Laverty, Tyco BMW, BSB [Credit: ianhopgoodphotography.net]
Michael Laverty, Tyco BMW, BSB [Credit: ianhopgoodphotography.net]
Michael Laverty, Tyco BMW, BSB [Credit: ianhopgoodphotography.net]
Stuart Easton, Moto Rapido Ducati [Credit: ianhopgoodphotography.net]
Michael Laverty, Tyco BMW, BSB [Credit: ianhopgoodphotography.net]

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