Conor Cummins has taken pole position for the 42nd Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix after slicing four seconds off his best time to set a new lap record around the legendary street circuit.
Although most were anticipating whether provisional pole sitter and six-time winner Michael Rutter could beat the previous marker, it instead came down to Manx rider Cummins, who is making only his second appearance at the event.
Riding the Team of Paris AIM Racing Yamaha, Cummins went considerably faster than he did during provisional qualifying, setting a time of 2mins 26.580secs, a tenth quicker than the existing record.
By comparison, Rutter had no answer to the 22-year-old, finishing up almost six tenths slower than him on the North West Ducati. Even so, the British Superbike front runner was satisfied with his performance.
“I had some problems with slower riders but that did not delay me too much and I used race tyres instead of qualifying rubber so I am happy enough with my times,” he said.
The fight for third place was a close one with just a few tenths covering the next few riders, although it was Australian rider Cameron Donald who eventually snared the spot aboard the Relentless Suzuki by TAS.
Isle of Man TT winner John McGuiness settled for fourth place on the Ventaxia VK Honda, with Ian Hutchinson and Stuart Easton just slightly adrift in fifth and sixth. Elsewhere, American duo Jeremy Toye and Mark Miller will start seventh and eighth, while Luis Carreira and Stephen Thompson round out the top ten positions.
Meanwhile, Keith Amor made it a good day for the AIM Racing team by claiming the spoils in Supersport qualifying. His effort was made all the more impressive by fact the Yamaha was running on just three cylinders following an engine problem yesterday.
Ric Penzkofer and Dan Linfoot will start second and third in class.