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Macau: Rutter victorious for eighth time
18 November 2012
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 closing stages.
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.
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