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Thompson gets last-minute Macau ride

“I wasn't going up until the last minute... then a guy who owns a motorbike-themed bar over in Macau pulled me out of a hole" - Stephen Thompson.
By Kyle White

Northern Ireland rider Stephen Thompson is preparing to embark on the long haul to southern China for the eighth time to compete in the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix.

Thompson will join Isle of Man TT hero John McGuinness in the Roadhouse SMT Honda team at the 45th edition of the famous international event, which brings the curtain down on the 2011 season.

The Ulster ace says the unique appeal of racing around the 3.8-mile Guia street circuit is what entices him back to Macau year after year.

Twelve months ago Thompson was battling for a top six finish when the engine of his MSS Kawasaki expired, forcing him out of the race.

He was again due to ride a Kawasaki for Nick Morgan this year until the deal fell through at the eleventh hour, but a local bar owner in Macau stepped in to help fund the trip and Thompson will ride the Honda Superbike raced by Gary Johnson at the Isle of Man TT in June.

“I wasn't going up until the last minute because I was supposed to be riding a Kawasaki for Nick Morgan, but he pulled out and that left me without a bike,” Thompson said.

“But then a guy who owns a motorbike-themed bar over in Macau, Ciaran Carruthers, pulled me out of a hole and I think he's giving John McGuinness a bit of sponsorship too.

“I met him last year and he's really into his bikes so I managed to get something sorted out.

“It's the Honda that Gary Johnson rode to third at the TT and I tested it at Kirkistown when I came back from holiday,” added Thompson.

“I've a few handling issues with it and I'm 80 per cent comfortable on it, but there was no point trying to sort it out here because Macau is such a unique circuit, so we'll see how it goes when we get there.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
British Superstock Championship regular Stephen Thompson, who will make his Isle of Man TT debut in 2010
Bruce Anstey on the YZR500 Yamaha at the Classic TT
Bruce Anstey on the YZR500 Yamaha at the Classic TT
Michael Dunlop at the Classic TT
Bruce Anstey on the YZR500 Yamaha at the Classic TT
Carl Fogarty will take part in a special tribute lap to Joey Dunlop at the Classic TT
Graeme Crosby will participate in a special parade lap at the Classic TT in tribute to Joey Dunlop
Robert Dunlop on the Norton Rotary at the Isle of Man TT in 1990
James Hillier in the Senior race at the Isle of Man TT
Guy Martin in the Senior TT
John McGuinness on the Honda Fireblade in the Senior race at the Isle of Man TT
Senior TT race winner Michael Dunlop
Dean Harrison on his way to victory in the Lightweight TT
Michael Dunlop on the BMW Motorrad S1000RR in the Senior TT
Michael Dunlop, Conor Cummins and Guy Martin on the Senior TT podium
Dean Harrison on the Mar-Train Racing Yamaha in the Supersport TT
William Dunlop on the Tyco Suzuki Supersport machine at the Isle of Man TT
John McGuinness on the Valvoline Padgetts Honda in the Superstock race at the Isle of Man TT

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