Michael Rutter rode his SMT Racing Honda to a faultless pole position for the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix – 46th Edition Friday, topping the second of the weekend’s qualifying sessions as relentlessly as he had the first.
The race was slated for Saturday, but was rescheduled for 4:15 local time Sunday due to heavy rains showers.
He ended the session just two tenths of a second clear of his nearest rival, teammate and 19-time Isle of Man TT winner John McGuinness. Another hugely experienced Macau racer, McGuinness was the only rider to present Rutter with a serious challenge in this session, and the only other rider to top the leader board in the 20 minutes the bikes were on track.
Third spot goes to 27-year-old Martin Jessop on the Riders’ Motorcycles Ducati, and though the gap between him and second-placed McGuinness was 1.7 seconds, Jessop is likely to be a strong challenger in tomorrow’s race. He finished second here last year behind Rutter, and this is his fourth visit to the 6.1km Guia Circuit.
There are plenty of other names to watch for when the grid forms up, but the form-book insists all eyes will be on one man on the front row.
It is Rutter’s eighth pole at Macau, and though he hasn’t won from there each time, it’s the kind of omen that may easily prey on the minds of his rivals. When the 46th Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix gets under way Sunday afternoon, Rutter will be looking to add his eighth win to an already illustrious CV.
Photo by Macau Grand Prix Commission