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Macau GP: Rutter tops first practice session

MIchael Rutter swoops late to post fastest lap during opening practice for the 50th Macau Grand Prix from Martin Jessopp.
Eight-time winner Michael Rutter produced a flying late lap to top the opening practice session at the 50th Suncity Macau Grand Prix.

Rutter, riding the Bathams/SMT BMW, knocked Martin Jessopp (Riders Motorcycles BMW) from the head of the time sheets after setting his best time in 2m 27.022 seconds.

Jessopp, who has finished as the runner-up on three occasions at Macau, was three tenths behind while Horst Saiger started strongly on his Kawasaki, taking third as he completed the morning session, 2.2 seconds back on Rutter.

Tyco BMW's Ian Hutchinson was next up in fourth ahead of Honda Racing's John McGuinness, while Scotsman Stuart Easton rounded out the first six on the Bathams/SMT BMW. Easton, the lap record holder around the 3.8-mile Guia course, was 4.6 seconds off team-mate Rutter's fastest lap.

Lincolnshire's Gary Johnson ended the first practice session in seventh place on the Penz13.com BMW, while Ulsterman Glenn Irwin impressed on the PBM Be Wiser Ducati, slotting into eighth as the British Superbike prospect makes his debut at the event. Irwin's fastest lap on the Panigale was five seconds off the top spot, but on this evidence, there is plenty more to come.

Last year's race winner, Peter Hickman, finished ninth on another of the Bathams/SMT BMW machines while Manx rider Conor Cummins completed the top ten (Honda Racing) ahead of Steve Mercer and Dan Cooper.

Irishman Derek Sheils was 15th fastest as he makes his Macau bow on John Burrows' Cookstown B.E. Racing Suzuki, one place in front of Ivan Lintin on the RC Express Kawasaki.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Michael Rutter topped the opening practice session for the 2016 Macau Grand Prix.
Peter Hickman won the Macau Grand Prix for the second year running on the Bathams/SMT BMW.
Glenn Irwin on the PBM Ducati at the Macau Grand Prix.
Glenn Irwin on the PBM Be Wiser Ducati at the Macau Grand Prix.
Peter Hickman on the Bathams/SMT BMW at the Macau Grand Prix.
Peter Hickman on the Bathams/SMT BMW at the Macau Grand Prix.
Peter Hickman in action at the 50th Macau Grand Prix on the Bathams/SMT BMW.
Michael Rutter on the Bathams/SMT BMW at the Macau Grand Prix.
Martin Jessopp on the Riders Motorcycles BMW at the Macau Grand Prix.
Michael Rutter and John McGuinness during the pre-event press conference ahead of the 50th Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix.
John McGuinness on the Winfield Paton at the Classic TT.
Ian Lougher, Dean Harrison and Lee Johnston in the winners` enclosure following the 2015 500cc Classic TT
Tyco BMW`s Ian Hutchinson
Ian Hutchinson leads Michael Dunlop in the Superbike class at the Ulster Grand Prix.
Ian Hutchinson celebrates his four wins at the Ulster Grand Prix.
Senior TT race winner Michael Dunlop, runner-up Ian Hutchinson and John McGuinness
Sidecar crew Ian and Carl Bell
Ian Hutchinson o the Team Traction Control Yamaha R6 at the Isle of Man TT.

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