20 November 2011
Rutter leads Ducati 1-2 at Macau
Michael Rutter leads Ducati 1-2 at Macau - takes record seventh win!
By Barry Russell
Michael Rutter continued the dominant form he showed all through practice and qualifying in the 45th Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix to take a record seventh win.
Rutter won by 4.7 seconds ahead of his Riders Ducati team-mate, Martin Jessop, who found extra speed in warm-up this morning when he spent much of the session following Rutter.
Swan Yamaha's Ian Hutchinson fulfilled the promise he had shown all weekend to finish third, a further six seconds behind Jessop.
After rain delays caused repeated rescheduling, the race was run a day late and reduced from 15 to 10 laps.
With dust on the track covering oil spilled in a big crash in an earlier car race in the first sector, it was Hutchinson who led from the start, pulling out a gap over Jessop and Rutter during the first two laps.
However, the Ducati duo began to reel him in as they got used to the track conditions before Rutter got past Jessop and then took the lead on lap four. Jessop pressed and then passed the Swan Yamaha rider and from lap six the first three began to string out.
Behind them, IGT Kawsaki's Jeremy Toye passed John McGuinness for fourth place while Gary Johnson pulled steadily closer to their battle for fourth.
By the time Johnson's IGT Suzuki by TAS caught McGuinness, Toye had managed to get away from the Morecambe Missile, who resisted Johnson's pressure until the last lap, by which time his rear tyre was shredded and he dropped back to sixth.
James Storrar was 18 seconds behind McGuinness and ahead of Michael Barnes, Bruce Anstey and Steve Mercer, who completed the top ten.
Michael and William Dunlop, in their Macau debuts, were 12th and 13th behind the Bournemouth Kawasaki of James Hillier.
Toye and Johnson were satisfied that they could not have done any more on unfamiliar bikes. Both praised the machines, but said that losing a whole qualifying session did not give them enough time to get them set up to their satisfaction.
Conor Cummins and Rico Penzkofer pulled out after the warm-up lap, saying that the track condition in the first sector was just too dangerous, whilst the German's Penz13.com team-mate, Horst Seger also decided to withdraw after one racing lap.
Reflecting the conditions, Rutter's fastest lap was 2m 25.456s, almost two seconds slower than his qualifying time.
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