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Macau GP: Rutter extends gap in Q1

Eight-time winner Michael Rutter increased his advantage at the top of the time sheets to almost one second over Martin Jessopp during first qualifying at the 50th Macau Grand Prix.
Michael Rutter continued to set the pace during opening qualifying for the 50th Macau Grand Prix as the eight-time winner pulled further clear at the top of the time sheets.

Bathams/SMT BMW rider Rutter, who is chasing an unprecedented ninth victory during the Golden Jubilee meeting of the famous motorcycle race, headed Martin Jessopp (Riders Motorcycles BMW) by nine tenths as he improved is time from free practice by more than two seconds, lapping in 2m 24.8s.

“The track is very clean, but it's very, very hot,” Rutter said. “I did as many laps as possible to get a feel for the tyres. It was a good session.”

Behind Jessopp, Ian Hutchinson improved to third on the Tyco BMW, 2.5 seconds behind Rutter, with John McGuinness also climbing the order to fourth on the Honda Racing Fireblade.

Penz13.com BMW rider Gary Johnson and Horst Saiger (Kawasaki) finalised the top six.

British Superbike rider Glenn Irwin has made a huge impact already on his debut at the event, slotting into seventh place on the PBM Be Wiser Ducati. Irwin, a podium finisher in the Supersport class at the North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix, was only 2.9 seconds down on Rutter as the Northern Ireland rider gets to grips with the challenging 3.8-mile Guia course.

He finished ahead of Conor Cummins (Honda Racing) and last year's winner Peter Hickman (Bathams/SMT BMW), while Stuart Easton – also riding a Bathams/SMT BMW in a strong line up for Robin Croft – rounded out the top ten.

Germany's Didier Grams was 11th on the Heidger Motorsport BMW followed by Ireland's Derek Sheils, who has also made an impressive start at Macau on his first appearance at the event on the Cookstown B.E. Racing Suzuki.

Dan Cooper (BMW), Steve Mercer (Briggs BMW) and Manx rider Dan Kneen on the Mar-Train Yamaha R1 were the top 15.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Michael Rutter on the Bathams/SMT BMW at the Macau Grand Prix.
Derek Sheils on the Cookstown B.E. Racing Suzuki at the Skerries 100.
Ian Hutchinson celebrates his Superstock victory.
Ian Hutchinson on his way to victory in the Superstock TT on the Tyco BMW.
Ian Hutchinson celebrates his victory in the RST Superbike race at the Isle of Man TT.
Ian Hutchinson on the Tyco BMW in the RST Superbike race.
Ian Hutchinson on the Tyco BMW during practice for the Isle of Man TT.
Ian Hutchinson on the Tyco BMW during practice for the Isle of Man TT.
Ian Hutchinson
Tyco BMW rider Ian Hutchinson
Alastair Seeley leads his Tyco BMW team-mate Ian Hutchinson in the Superbike race at the North West 200.
Glenn Irwin won the feature Superbike race at the North West 200.
Honda Racing riders John McGuinness and Guy Martin
Alastair Seeley on the Tyco BMW Superstock machine at the North West 200.
Glenn Irwin on the PBM Ducati at the North West 200.
Michael Rutter on the Bathams BMW at the North West 200
Alastair Seeley on the Tyco BMW at the North West 200.
Michael Dunlop on the Bennetts Suzuki at the North West 200

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