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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
Michael Dunlop on the Bennetts Suzuki.
Michael Dunlop on the Bennetts Suzuki.
Ian Hutchinson
Tyco BMW rider Ian Hutchinson
Dan Kneen
Bruce Anstey on the Mugen machine at TT 2016.
Alastair Seeley leads his Tyco BMW team-mate Ian Hutchinson in the Superbike race at the North West 200.
Honda Racing riders John McGuinness and Guy Martin
Bruce Anstey on the Padgetts Honda FIreblade.
Gary Johnson will run his own team at TT 2017.
Lee Johnston has teamed up with Ryan Farquhar to race a KMR Kawasaki in the NI Air Ambulance colours at the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT.
John McGuinness on the Jackson Racing Honda.
Guy Martin, John McGuinness Honda Racing, [Credit: Honda Racing]
Josh Brookes has signed to ride for Norton at the Isle of Man TT in 2017.
Dan Hegarty won the TT Privateers Championship in 2016.
Peter Hickman will ride for Smiths Racing in 2017 at the international road races and in the British Superbike Championship.
Michael Rutter and John McGuinness during the pre-event press conference ahead of the 50th Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix.

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