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Macau GP: McGuinness leads way in Q1

John McGuinness puts down marker in first qualifying at Macau to head times from Michael Rutter and Martin Jessopp.
Isle of Man TT great John McGuinness maintained his impressive start to this year's Suncity Group 49th Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix by topping first qualifying on his Honda Racing Fireblade.

The 23-time TT winner lapped in 2m 27.246s late in the session to power to the top of the times ahead of Michael Rutter on the Penz13.com BMW, who was two tenths in arrears.

The session was red-flagged after an incident reportedly involving Russ Mountford on the VRS Racing Honda, who was described as being conscious and moving.

McGuinness, second fastest in the first free practice session, has previously won at Macau back in 2001 and appears to be in the mood to challenge for his second title at the infamous Guia street course in South China after being reunited with his TT Superbike.

Martin Jessopp was third fastest on the Riders Motorcycles BMW, 0.4 seconds behind the Morecambe Missile, with Yorkshireman Ian Hutchinson slotting into fourth on the PBM Kawasaki, one-and-a-half seconds off the pace.

Lincolnshire's Gary Johnson (Penz13.com BMW) and Horst Saiger (Kawasaki) completed the top six, with Peter Hickman – making only his second appearance at Macau – next on the Briggs BMW.

Northern Ireland's Lee Johnston was seventh fastest in the searing heat on the East Coast BMW following a lap in 2m 29.529s, which left the Fermanagh rider 2.2 seconds behind pacesetter McGuinness.

The Isle of Man's Conor Cummins (Honda Racing) and Scottish rider Jimmy Storrar on the second of Paul Bird's Kawasaki machines finalised the top ten.

Last year's winner Stuart Easton, bidding for a fifth victory in the famous race, was languishing in 15th place on the SMT Yamaha R1, 6.1 seconds out of contention after managing eight laps.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
John McGuinness on the Honda Racing Fireblade at the Macau Grand Prix.
Guy Martin on the Honda Fireblade at the Isle of Man TT.
Michael Dunlop at the Classic TT
Dean Harrison on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki in the Senior TT.
Peter Hickman in the Senior TT on the Smiths BMW.
Michael Dunlop on the Bennetts Suzuki in the Senior TT.
Bruce Anstey on his way to victory in the TT Zero race.
Guy Martin on the Honda Racing Superbike.
Jochem van den Hoek.
Michael Rutter took victory in the Lightweight TT on the Italian Paton.
Dan Kneen celebrates with his team after sealing his maiden Isle of Man TT rostrum in the Superstock race.
Ian Hutchinson celebrates his Superstock victory.
Ian Hutchinson on his way to victory in the Superstock TT on the Tyco BMW.
Davey Lambert in the RST Superbike race.
A Sidecar narrowly missed spectators in an incident that was captured in a video posted on YouTube.
James Hillier on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki in the opening Supersport TT race.
Michael Dunlop in the Supersport TT.
Michael Dunlop on his Yamaha in the Supersport TT.

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