2012 Macau GP
Michael Rutter made Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix history today by taking a seventh victory on the famous Guia street circuit, bettering the existing record he had shared with fellow legend Ron Haslam since 2005.
Second was Rutter’s team mate Martin Jessopp, with Ian Hutchinson on the Swan Yamaha 1000 making a remarkable return to competition by taking third for an all-British podium. American Jeremy Toye was fourth with the IGT Kawasaki Racing Team.
Rutter, aboard the RidersMotorcycles.com Ducati 1200 proved why he is the greatest rider the event has ever known in the 10-lap race, winning by a margin of 4.772 seconds and setting the fastest lap of the race.
Although Rutter had the advantage of pole position, it was Hutchinson who stormed off the grid and into the lead off the start, followed by Rutter, John McGuinness on the Roadhouse SMT Honda 1000 and Jessopp. McGuinness got by Rutter in the run down to Lisboa, with Jessopp following suit.
While Hutchinson set about pulling away from the pack, Jessopp, McGuinness and Rutter were engaged in a three-way battle, with McGuinness dropping back to fourth by the end of the second lap. Rutter was on a charge though, and up to second a lap later having passed Jessopp at Lisboa, and taking the charge to the race leader.
Closing up to Hutchinson on lap 4, Rutter made his move at Lisboa to take the lead. As Rutter set about putting some track between him and his rivals, Jessopp passed Hutchinson to go second.
To rapturous cheers from the Macau crowds, Rutter crossed the line to take the flag and etch his name in the Grand Prix history books once again. However, it was teammate Jessopp who Rutter praised at the post-race press conference, after light-heartedly assuring the assembled media his first call would be to Ron Haslam: “Martin has been there all year – he’s come along and learned a lot. It’s been a brilliant season.”
Jessopp was equally delighted to be sharing the podium with two great names: “The last two years I’ve been learning from Michael. I hit the wall pretty hard on lap 1, so I settled down after that. I think Michael was playing with us for the first couple of laps.”
For Hutchison, who this time last year was in intensive care after an accident in the UK, it was great to be back racing. He was also full of praise for the organization decision to reschedule the races following bad weather on Saturday: “It was a great decision by the organizers to keep everyone safe,” he said.
Pic courtesy of Macau Grand Prix Committee