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55th MACAU GRAND PRIX - 42nd MACAU MOTORCYCLE GRAND PRIX
November 13-16 2008
OFFICIAL SITE

42nd MACAU GRAND PRIX LIVE TIMING HERE

MACAU REPORTS AND PHOTOS

Tom Hinterreiter, riding in extreme pain with the injured left hand that he suffered while riding for Maco Moto in Doha, still managed 9 laps in qualifying to place 12th on the grid. Even though Tom was keen to start the race, manager Mandy Kainz took the tough decision after the Saturday morning warm-up to withdraw Thomas from the event. Rico Penzkofer qualified well with the 600, 2nd in class, but was involved in a crash at the Lisboa Bend with 4 other riders - he was hit from behind and was effectively out of the race. Both Tom and Rico will be back again next year, hoping for better luck in 2009.


TOM HINTERREITER WITH HIS ONE GOOD HAND (Photo courtesy of Phil Wain)


MARC FISSTTE (Photo courtesy of Phil Wain)

JOHN McGUINNESS ON THE PODIUM ONCE MORE

Morecambe's John McGuinness put in a superb ride on Saturday when he finished in third place in the Macau Grand Prix. Riding the Vent Axia/VK Honda Fireblade, the 36-year old chalked up his 8th podium in 11 appearances at the 3.8-mile circuit thus ensuring his up and down 2008 season ended on a high note. Qualifying went well for McGuinness and he ran consistently inside the four six with weather conditions absolutely perfect at the Far East venue. Second in the first 45-minute session, John went quicker in final qualifying held early on Friday morning with a time of 2m27.521s but such was the frenetic pace being set around the tough, challenging road circuit he found himself shuffled back to 4th place overall. Nevertheless, this still put him on the front row and hopes were high going into the 15-lap race.

A solid start saw John slot in to 5th place at the end of the first lap as Michael Rutter, Cameron Donald and Stuart Easton led the field round and although he was relegated to 6th by Conor Cummins a lap later, he was still very much in touch with the leading pack. Having overhauled good friend Ian Hutchinson, John moved back up to 5th on the third lap and with some consistent laps, he was able to pull away from the group of riders behind. Secure in fifth, it was very much a lonely race for John but with both Donald and Cummins being forced out with machine problems, he moved up into third on the 8th lap. Although the leading two of Easton and Rutter were out of reach, John was very secure in third and here he finished to end his 2008 season with an excellent result.

"It was a good race and a good ride but, as has been my problem all year, I made a lazy start. You can't let people get away here and Cameron and Stuart were running a pace you wouldn't believe so I just settled in to my own race. Conor came by and was riding well so I couldn't hold on to him and it was fortunate for me that he had problems. The bike never missed a beat and that's my 8th podium in 11 years of coming here so I've got to be happy with that - I just don't seem to be able to win the damn thing again! It was quite a lonely race for me but I enjoyed it and it's great to see Stuart win. I was his first teammate and I've seen his career progress and he thoroughly deserved it. I've got some good bikes for 2009 and know what I need to do so I'll get stuck in again next year."

CONOR CUMMINS MACAU REPORT

Manxman Conor Cummins experienced both the highs and lows of motorcycling at the weekend when he competed at the Macau Grand Prix. The 22-year old qualified his Team of Paris AIM Racing Yamaha in a brilliant pole position in just his second ever appearance around the 3.8-mile Guia circuit, recording the fastest ever qualifying lap for the race but all hopes of a dream win were dashed on the 8th lap when a machine problem forced him to retire whilst holding on to a strong third.


CONOR CUMMINS (Picture courtesy of Stephen Davison - Pacemaker Press International)

Conditions were perfect throughout the three days of action and Conor got his week underway with a fine 3rd in the opening free practice session on Thursday morning. In the first qualifying session later that afternoon, he slipped back to 7th, mainly due to feeling unwell, but he was back to his best in the final 1-hour qualifying session on Friday morning. With a fantastic time of 2m26.580s, Conor sliced over four seconds off his best time from the previous day to set a blistering record qualifying lap and leave him almost half a second clear of his nearest rival, Michael Rutter.

With the race getting underway at 3.15pm on Saturday, the riders had to contend with searing heat and Conor failed to take advantage of his pole position, a poor start leaving him down in 6th at the end of the opening lap. However, he was soon into his stride and on the next lap he despatched of both Ian Hutchinson and John McGuinness, immediately pulling away and setting about closing the gap to the riders in front of him. When race leader Cameron Donald went out at the start of the 5th lap, he was promoted to 3rd and had the race leaders, Stuart Easton and Muchael Rutter, firmly in his sights. With less than 5 seconds separating the trio, Conor was well placed for a podium position at least but it all came to an end at half race distance when a loss of power, caused by a broken rectifier, left him with little option other than to retire.

Speaking after the race, Conor said: "I was really chuffed with pole and couldn't quite believe it to be honest! The first two sectors of the lap were great but I made a couple of mistakes on the fast right handers before the start and thought I'd wrecked the lap so it was a bit of a surpise to get the pole. It was the first time I've ever used a qualifying tyre so it was all a bit new but our race pace was also very good and I felt really strong going in to the race. I was really disappointed with the start I made but I got up 4th fairly quicky and with Cameron going out I was soon up to third. Easton and Rutter were only just ahead of me and I felt very comfortable and was confident of pulling them in but the bike suddenly felt like it had gone on to 3 cylinders and I had to pull in. The bike was flying up until then so it's a real shame but it's been a great experience and even better to have got pole in just my second time here. I've proved I have the speed to run at the front on the roads and I can't grumble too much - well, I can!"

STUART EASTON DENIES RUTTER A RECORD AT MACAU

Stuart Easton on the Doosan Honda has won the 42nd Macau Grand Prix, beating Michael Rutter by over 2 seconds. John McGuinness was third, over 28 seconds away.


STUART EASTON LORDS IT AT MACAU

KEITH AMOR TAKES 600cc HONOURS

Falkirk's Keith Amor wrapped up his highly successful season on Saturday with a superb victory in the 600cc class of the Macau Grand Prix. Riding the AIM Racing R6 Yamaha, the Scottish ace fought his way through the pack after being delayed on the opening lap by a crash and eventually took the win by a convincing 25 seconds to claim his first ever International race win. Opening qualifying on Thursday afternoon saw Keith slot into 2nd place in the 600cc division, and 18th overall, just over a second behind the pace setting German rider Rico Penkofer. However, with cooler conditions in Friday morning's session, which got underway briskly at 7.30am, almost all of the field went considerably quicker. Sure enough, Keith took over 2 seconds off his time and a best lap of 2m31.969s around the 3.8-mile Guia circuit saw him top the class although it was very close with Penzkofer just 0.081s behind.

Unfortunately, the much anticipated dice between the two Yamahas ended on the opening lap of the 15-lap race, held in sweltering conditions, when Penzkofer and Dan Linfoot, third in qualifying, crashed out at Lisboa Corner and Keith got held up considerably in the ensuing melee. Having dropped close to the back of the field, he re-grouped and gradually began to claw back the advantage of new rivals Gerard Muteau and Joao Fernandes. With a series of fastest laps, Keith soon overhauled his fellow 600cc competitors, promptly disappearing into the distance for an excellent win and he was also able to claim an equally excellent 11th place overall.

"I had a feeling it was going to be a bit tricky going in to the first corner so I hung back a wee bit to stay out of trouble and, although I got held up by the crash, it paid dividends. I think I was 4th from last by the time I got going again and my first pit board said 'P3 -8' so I knew I had to get my head down. I knew Dan had gone down but not Rico but I started to see bikes in front of me and was able to reel them in and once I'd got the lead of the class I was able to pull away. I'd asked the lads to just show me where I was lying in the 600cc race and and it was a nice feeling seeing my board saying '+10, +14, +18'. It was a shame Rico and Dan went out so early but that's racing I guess. It was a hard race with the heat being so high but the bike was an absolute missile and the team worked so hard, giving me a great bike. I'd over-revved the engine in practice so I had to make a few changes to the settings on the bike but it all worked perfectly and I really enjoyed myself this week. I've got to say a big thank you to Alastair Flanagan for giving me the opportunity this week and to everyone at AIM Racing and Dunlop for all their support."


KEITH AMOR ON THE GAS (Picture courtesy of Stephen Davison - Pacemaker Press International)

HANDLING PROBLEMS PLAGUE GARY JOHNSON

Gary Johnson's Macau Grand Prix debut ended in disappointment last Saturday when he was forced to retire from the 15-lap race whilst holding on to a strong 12th place. The Broughton rider was also having his first ride on the BTS Honda but, after a fraught practice, his race came to an end after 11 laps when handling problems meant it wasn't safe to continue. The week got off to the worst possible start for Gary when suspension problems saw him only complete 4 laps in the opening free practice session but he regrouped successfully for first qualifying and immediately jumped up to 22nd position. In Friday morning's final 1-hour qualifying session, he knocked almost four seconds off his time to move inside the top 20 and was looking to get inside the top 15 with half of the session remaining. However, the engine then expired on the run down to Lisboa Corner and he was forced to sit out the remaining 25 minutes. Nevertheless, he still finished in 20th overall, good enough for a 5th row start, which was an excellent effort considering the major loss in track time. It also meant he was the leading newcomer in qualifying.


GARY JOHNSONS NOT SO DREAM DEBUT (Picture courtesy of Stephen Davison - Pacemaker Press International)

Conditions were at their worst for the afternoon race with the riders having to contend with extreme heat, as well as the tough, challenging circuit. Gary made a great start and was running on the fringes of the top 15 in the early stages. With the heat causing havoc with machine reliability, Gary had moved up to an excellent 12th by half race distance but no sooner had he gained the position, he began to drop back as the handling problems of practice returned. As he fought with the handling, the extra effort caused his arms to tense up and with safety paramount, he had little option other than to pull in at the end of the 11th lap.

"I could have done without the problems in free practice as learning the course was my main aim early on but we got a lot of help from Javier (Hydrex Honda) and the the suspension was loads better in opening qualifying. My times dropped immediately and I managed to do a 2'33 lap and was looking to get down to the 31's at least but the engine blew on the way to Lisboa and I had to sit out most of the session. I ended up getting a taxi back and then the team started to work really hard to get the bike ready for the race. I got a great start and was feeling good, with the circuit coming to me all the time. I was trying to stay focused and smooth but the handling problems returned about half way through the race and I had to ease my pace a bit. It got progressively worse and I was just riding round to be honest as the handling was so bad, it was weaving big time along the straights. I was just going steady but had got up to 12th at half race distance but by that time, my arms had really pumped up due to the extra effort of holding on to the bike so it was safer for everyone that I pulled in. I've had a great time though and learnt a lot so, hopefully, I can come back next year and get a good finish."

OFFICIAL REPORT:
Stuart Easton, the 25-year-old Scottish racer took his first ever Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix victory today to deny six-times winner Michael Rutter a record-breaking seventh success. It looked as though Rutter, on the Discover Ireland NW200 Ducati 1200, was going to be handed first place when two of the fancied front-runners went out with mechanical problems. First Australian Cameron Donald (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) was forced to stop on lap five with a mechanical problem after dramatically taking the lead on the opening lap from Rutter. That left Easton (Doosan Honda) in the lead by almost three seconds from Rutter, and pulling away.

Then Conor Cummins, the 22-year-old Manxman, who had broken the qualifying lap record to take pole position on the grid for the 15-lap race, suffered a mechanical breakdown on lap eight when looking as if he might prove a threat to the two men ahead of him. With him out, Rutter realised he was now closing on the 25-year-old Scottish racer and made a determined effort to catch him in the hopes of forcing him to make a mistake. He reduced the gap to less than a fifth of a second with three laps to go, but Easton was not going to give away his debut victory easily, and charged on to take the chequered flag by a 2.7 second margin. “I had a problem with my elbow but that had nothing to do with me not being able to pass young Stuart. He rode superbly and thoroughly deserved his victory,” said a philosophical Rutter after the race.

Almost 30 seconds behind Rutter was John McGuinness on the Ventaxia UK Honda who lost sight of the leaders after making a sluggish start and was never able to catch them after that. Luis Carreira (Benimoto Suzuki Yoshimura 1000) was an impressive fourth, his best ever result in the Far East Classic, snatching the place away on the final lap from American Michael Barnes (Ventaxia UK Honda). Ulsterman Stephen Thompson (Sloan Developments Honda) was sixth over the line. To make it a great day for the Scottish, Keith Amor, the 32-year-old from Falkirk, won the Supersport 600 class by taking 11th place overall two places in front of Frenchman Gerald Muteau (Halfen - Team of Paris Triumph 675). Joao Fernandes became the first local rider to take a podium finish in the event with third spot in the 600 class, but the 31-year-old needed pain-killing injections to cope with injuries sustained in a recent accident at the Zhuhai Circuit in China.

POS
NO CL NAME NAT BIKE/ENTRY TIME LAPS GAP KPH
1 3   Stuart EASTON GBR DOOSAN HONDA 37:09.4 15   148.2
2 200   Michael RUTTER GBR DISCOVER IRELAND NW200 DUCATI 37:12.1 15 2.722 148.1
3 2   John MCGUINNESS GBR VENTAXIA VK HONDA 37:41.1 15 31.711 146.2
4 14   Luis CARREIRA POR BENIMOTO SUZUKI YOSHIMURA 37:49.4 15 39.962 145.6
5 34   Michael BARNES USA VENTAXIA VK HONDA 37:49.4 15 39.982 145.6
6 11   Stephen THOMPSON GBR SLOAN DEVELOPMENTS 37:55.3 15 45.91 145.2
7 8   Ian HUTCHINSON GBR AVIVA KAWASAKI 37:58.5 15 49.067 145
8 57   Jeremy TOYE USA CORONA EXTRA HONDA RACING 38:25.6 15 01:16.2 143.3
9 20   Marc FISSETTEE BEL IXO-CHURRASCAO RACING 38:38.9 15 01:29.5 142.5
10 16   Rui REIGOTO POR VODAFONE KAWASAKI KMS 38:43.8 15 01:34.4 142.2
11 24 FIM Keith AMOR GBR A.I.M. RACING 38:49.0 15 01:39.6 141.9
12 17   Steve MERCER GBR DMR RACING 39:13.9 15 02:04.5 140.4
13 66 FIM Gerald MUTEAU FRA HALFEN - TEAM OF PARIS 39:14.2 15 02:04.8 140.4
14 77   Fabrice MIGUET FRA HALFEN - TEAM OF PARIS 39:31.2 15 02:21.8 139.4
15 88   Amaury BARATIN FRA HALFEN - TEAM OF PARIS 37:14.8 14 1 LAP 138
16 61   Scott JENSEN USA MOTO GARAGE RACING 37:23.8 14 1 LAP 137.5
17 32 FIM Joao FERNANDES MAC MACAU RACING TEAM 37:51.2 14 1 LAP 135.8
18 33 FIM CHEUNG WAI ON HKG CHEUNG WAI ON 37:52.1 14 1 LAP 135.8
19 18 FIM SOU SIO HONG MAC SOU SIO HONG 38:14.0 14 1 LAP 134.5
20 19 FIM LEONG IOK CHOI MAC LEONG IOK CHOI 38:47.1 13 2 LAPS 123.1
21 69   Gary JOHNSON GBR BTS RACING 28:58.3 11 4 LAPS 139.4
      Not Classified            
  25   Michael WEYNAND BEL IGT-BIKE PROMOTION RACING 26:03.5 10 D.N.F. 140.9
  10   Mark MILLER USA CORONA EXTRA HONDA RACING 21:28.3 8 D.N.F. 136.8
  4   Conor CUMMINS IOM TEAM OF PARIS A.I.M. RACING 17:27.7 7 D.N.F. 147.2
  40   Steve ALLAN GBR AVIVA KAWASAKI 15:51.3 6 D.N.F. 139
  6   Cameron DONALD AUS RELENTLESS SUZUKI BY TAS 09:58.1 4 D.N.F. 147.3
  99   Pierre CHAPUIS FRA HALFEN - TEAM OF PARIS 11:42.6 4 D.N.F. 125.4
  51   Jose LEITE POR SUZUKI CAEPSA BPN 06:14.1 2 D.N.F. 117.8
  13 FIM Rico PENZKOFER GER IGT-YAMAHA AUSTRIA RACING TEAM 03:38.7 1 D.N.F. 100.7
  5   Bruce ANSTEY NZL RELENTLESS SUZUKI BY TAS   0 D.N.F. N/A
  45 FIM Dan LINFOOT GBR ROB MAC RACING   0 D.N.F. N/A
  7   Thomas HINTERREITER AUT MACAU.COM YART   0 D.N.F. N/A
      Fastest Laps            
  200   Michael RUTTER   DISCOVER IRELAND NW200 DUCATI 02:27.1 8 93.08mph 149.8
  24 FIM Keith AMOR   A.I.M. RACING 02:32.2 10 89.97mph 144.8

CONOR CUMMINS STUNS IN FINAL QUALIFYING

Conor Cummins, the 22-year-old Manx road racer, grabbed pole position for the 42nd running of the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix with a blistering record qualifying lap in the closing stages of the second and deciding timed session at the Far East Classic today. Cummins, on the Team of Paris AIM Racing Yamaha 1000, at only his second appearance at the event, chopped over four seconds off his best lap time in Thursday’s opening qualifying session to grab pole position for the 15-lap race, slicing just under a tenth of a second off the existing record.

Michael Rutter, the 35-year-old six-time winner of the event, was only second fastest on the Discover Ireland NW200 Ducati 1200, just under half a second slower than his young rival. “I had some problems with slower riders but that did not delay me too much and I used race tyres instead of qualifying rubber so I am happy enough with my times,” said Rutter, who is aiming to take a record-breaking seventh victory in the event. Australian Cameron Donald (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) was third fastest, just five hundredths of a second slower than Rutter.

The final few minutes of the session produced some dramatic shuffling of the leaderboard, and John McGuinness (Ventaxia UK Honda 1000) and fifth quickest, Ian Hutchinson (AVIVA Kawasaki 1000) were all vying for a top three spot in the final minutes. Less than one second covered all five at the end of the session. Keith Amor (AIM Racing Yamaha) forgot to tell his pit crew he had damaged an engine in Thursday’s qualifying so ran the full timed session on three cylinders, but was still quick enough to set fastest time in the Supersport 600 class. Rico Penzkofer (IGT-Yamaha Austria Racing), who finished second in the class last year, was second fastest by just eight hundredths of a second. Dan Linfoot (Rob Mac Racing Yamaha), the 20-year-old Yorkshire newcomer, was third best in the class, almost three seconds slower than the German.

PROVISIONAL POLE FOR RECORD-CHASING MICHAEL RUTTER

Michael Rutter, the 35-year-old British roadracer, chasing a record-breaking seventh win in the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix, threw down a warning to his rivals by claiming provisional pole in today’s first qualifying session at the Far East Classic. Rutter, riding the Discover Ireland NW200 Ducati 1200 lapped in two minutes, 28.156 seconds to head the leaderboard, but that was only just over six tenths of a second quicker than Isle of Man TT lap record holder John McGuinness (Ventaxia UK Honda 1000), who was second fastest.

Scotsman Steve Allan, riding a Superbike at the meeting for the first time after three years dominating the Supersport 600 class at the event, was third fastest on the Aviva Kawasaki 1000. Australian Cameron Donald (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) was just a fifth of a second slower than Allan, with another Scot, Stuart Easton (Doosan Honda 1000), who was fourth in this race in 2006, fifth quickest, half a second behind the Australian. Portuguese racer Luis Carreira (Benimoto Suzuki Yoshimura 1000), pulled off the surprise of the session by finishing sixth fastest after finishing 14th in last year’s race. Rico Penzkofer (IGT-Yamaha Austria Racing Team) was fastest Supersport 600 in 15th place overall.

The 33-year-old German was four fifths of a second quicker than Scotsman Keith Amor (AIM Racing Yamaha) with Frenchman Gerald Muteau (Halfen-Team of Paris Triumph 675) third best.

 POS  NO  CL  NAME   NAT  BIKE/ENTRY   TIME  LAPS  GAP  KPH
 1   200      Michael RUTTER   GBR   DISCOVER IRELAND NW200 DUCATI   2:28.156   14      148.70 
 2   2      John MCGUINNESS   GBR   VENTAXIA VK HONDA   2:28.781   13   0.625   148.08 
 3   40      Steve ALLAN   GBR   AVIVA KAWASAKI   2:29.914   12   1.758   146.96 
 4   6      Cameron DONALD   AUS   RELENTLESS SUZUKI BY TAS   2:30.134   14   1.978   146.74 
 5   3      Stuart EASTON   GBR   DOOSAN HONDA   2:30.570   13   2.414   146.32 
 6   14      Luis CARREIRA   POR   BENIMOTO SUZUKI YOSHIMURA   2:30.642   12   2.486   146.25 
 7   4      Conor CUMMINS   IOM   TEAM OF PARIS A.I.M. RACING   2:30.656   15   2.500   146.24 
 8   7      Thomas HINTERREITER   AUT   MACAU.COM YART   2:30.916   10   2.760   145.98 
 9   8      Ian HUTCHINSON   GBR   AVIVA KAWASAKI   2:30.939   11   2.783   145.96 
 10   57      Jeremy TOYE   USA   CORONA EXTRA HONDA RACING   2:30.950   14   2.794   145.95 
 11   11      Stephen THOMPSON   GBR   SLOAN DEVELOPMENTS   2:31.067   7   2.911   145.84 
 12   34      Michael BARNES   USA   VENTAXIA VK HONDA   2:31.113   10   2.957   145.79 
 13   10      Mark MILLER   USA   CORONA EXTRA HONDA RACING   2:31.529   15   3.373   145.39 
 14   25      Michael WEYNAND   BEL   IGT-BIKE PROMOTION RACING   2:32.295   11   4.139   144.66 
 15   13   FIM   Rico PENZKOFER   GER   IGT-YAMAHA AUSTRIA RACING TEAM   2:33.036   13   4.880   143.96 
 16   5      Bruce ANSTEY   NZL   RELENTLESS SUZUKI BY TAS   2:33.180   12   5.024   143.83 
 17   16      Rui REIGOTO   POR   VODAFONE KAWASAKI KMS   2:33.886   14   5.730   143.17 
 18   24   FIM   Keith AMOR   GBR   A.I.M. RACING   2:34.009   12   5.853   143.05 
 19   66   FIM   Gerald MUTEAU   FRA   HALFEN - TEAM OF PARIS   2:36.607   11   8.451   140.68 
 20   45   FIM   Dan LINFOOT   GBR   ROB MAC RACING   2:36.793   14   8.637   140.51 
 21   20      Marc FISSETTEE   BEL   IXO-CHURRASCAO RACING   2:37.074   15   8.918   140.26 
 22   69      Gary JOHNSON   GBR   BTS RACING   2:37.248   13   9.092   140.11 
 23   17      Steve MERCER   GBR   DMR RACING   2:37.471   15   9.315   139.91 
 24   51      Jose LEITE   POR   SUZUKI CAEPSA BPN   2:38.701   9   10.545   138.82 
 25   99      Pierre CHAPUIS   FRA   HALFEN - TEAM OF PARIS   2:39.515   14   11.359   138.11 
 26   61      Scott JENSEN   USA   MOTO GARAGE RACING   2:40.401   13   12.245   137.35 
 27   77      Fabrice MIGUET   FRA   HALFEN - TEAM OF PARIS   2:40.824   12   12.668   136.99 
 28   32   FIM   Joao FERNANDES   MAC   MACAU RACING TEAM   2:41.747   11   13.591   136.21 
 29   33   FIM   CHEUNG WAI ON   HKG   CHEUNG WAI ON   2:41.767   14   13.611   136.19 
 30   15      James STORRAR   GBR   DMR RACING   2:42.075   2   13.919   135.93 
 31   88      Amaury BARATIN   FRA   HALFEN - TEAM OF PARIS   2:42.209   15   14.053   135.82 
 32   18   FIM   SOU SIO HONG   MAC   SOU SIO HONG   2:43.135   14   14.979   135.05 
 33   19   FIM   LEONG IOK CHOI   MAC   LEONG IOK CHOI   2:46.833   9   18.677   132.06 

42nd MACAU GRAND PRIX PROVISIONAL ENTRY LIST

No. Driver Nat. Entrant Machine cc
2 John MCGUINNESS GBR VENTAXIA VK HONDA HONDA 1000
3 Stuart EASTON GBR HYDREX-BIKE ANIMAL RACING HONDA 1000
4 Conor CUMMINS IOM TEAM OF PARIS A.I.M. RACING YAMAHA 1000
5 Bruce ANSTEY NZ RELENTLESS SUZUKI BY TAS SUZUKI 1000
6 Cameron DONALD AUS RELENTLESS SUZUKI BY TAS SUZUKI 1000
7 Thomas HINTERREITER AUT MACAU.COM YART YAMAHA 1000
8 Ian HUTCHINSON GBR MSS-DISCOVERY RACING KAWASAKI 1000
9 Guy MARTIN GBR HYDREX-BIKE ANIMAL HONDA HONDA 1000
10 Mark MILLER USA CORONA EXTRA HONDA RACING HONDA 1000
11 Stephen THOMPSON GBR STEPHEN THOMPSON SUZUKI 1000
13 Rico PENZKOFER GER IGT-YAMAHA AUSTRIA RACING TEAM YAMAHA *600
14 Luis CARREIRA POR BENIMOTO SUZUKI YOSHIMURA SUZUKI 1000
15 James STORRAR GBR DMR RACING YAMAHA 1000
16 Rui REIGOTO POR VODAFONE/KAWASAKI/KMS KAWASAKI 1000
17 Steve MERCER GBR DMR RACING YAMAHA 1000
18 SOU SIO HONG MAC SOU SIO HONG YAMAHA *600
19 LEONG IOK CHOI MAC LEONG IOK CHOI YAMAHA *600
20 Marc FISSETTEE BEL SKSUPPORT RACING TEAM YAMAHA 1000
24 Keith AMOR GBR A.I.M. RACING YAMAHA *600
25 Michael WEYNAND BEL IGT-BIKE PROMOTION RACING SUZUKI 1000
32 Joao FERNANDES MAC MACAU RACING TEAM YAMAHA *600
33 CHEUNG WAI ON HKG CHEUNG WAI ON YAMAHA *600
34 Mike BARNES  USA VENTAXIA VK HONDA HONDA 1000
40 Steve ALLAN GBR MSS-DISCOVERY RACING KAWASAKI 1000
45 Dan LINFOOT GBR STONEBAKER RACING YAMAHA *600
51 Jose LEITE POR Suzuki Caepsa BPN SUZUKI 999
57 Jeremy TOYE USA Corona Extra Honda Racing HONDA 1000
61 Scott JENSEN USA HALOF Racing SUZUKI 1000
66 Gerald MUTEAU FRA Team of Paris TRIUMPH *675
69 Gary JOHNSON GBR BTS Racing HONDA 1000
77 Fabrice MIGUET FRA Team of Paris SUZUKI 1000
88 Amaury BARATIN FRA Team of Paris SUZUKI 1000
99 Pierre CHAPUIS FRA Team of Paris YAMAHA 1000
200 Michael RUTTER GBR North West 200 DUCATI DUCATI 1100

Marc Fissette debuts for SKSupport in Macau

Many real road racing fans can remember 1997 and the Ulster Grand Prix – seeing a head to head race between Joey Dunlop and a Belgian Newcomer called Marc Fissette. Many people still think that was one of the best races ever over there. Now Marc Fissette seems to be back in business on real roads and is making his debut on the streets of Macau – one of the toughest circuits you can challenge – under the SKSupport banner. Mark is going to ride a Yamaha R1 which he is really familiar with. It will also be his first appearance in international road racing since 1998 but many experts believe that he will show some good results on the Yamaha.

Marc has been well prepared for the opportunity to challenge the established road racing heroes such as McGuiness, Plater, Rutter, Donald and Martin. SKSupport already spoke to Marc about a year ago to take him under their wing and put him in a good team...and most probably he will stay longer with the SK crew. Close friend and former team mate Michael Weynand will also attend the 55th Macau Grand Prix, along with Rico Penzkofer on an R6 and Thomas Hinterreiter on the awesome YART SBK-R1 – all promoted and sponsored by SKSupport – Macau’s first sport and incentive agency.

OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE:
The Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix, the unique two-wheel spectacular which has achieved iconic status with many road racing fans across the globe, boasts a fittingly dazzling field for the 42nd running of the event.

Six-time Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix winner Michael Rutter will return to Macau’s Guia Circuit this year in an attempt to finally break the record he shares with motorcycle legend Ron Haslam and capture a seventh win at Macau. The Briton will be attempting to take the historic victory with North West 200 Ducati. Rutter last won the Motorcycle Grand Prix in 2005, and the 35-year old is itching to stand atop the podium once more. However, he has twice been prevented from going one better than “Rocket Ron”. In 2006, he missed out on the record win, finishing second, while last year, despite starting from pole, he finished down in 11th place after being forced down the slip road three laps from the flag. But Macau is among his best circuits and Rutter must be considered amongst the favourites.

This year, Rutter will be on board a 1200cc Ducati, the first time a Ducati has run at Macau since 2004.

However, as in previous years, there will be plenty of top road and endurance riders from across the globe ready and able to deny Rutter his seventh win. Fellow Briton John McGuinness, 36, the 2001 Macau winner and last year’s runner-up, won his 14th Isle of Man TT this year, taking victory in June’s Senior TT Race. McGuinness, having set a new lap record last year, will make his 11th visit to Macau, this time with Ventaxia VK Honda, and must be a hot favourite for a second victory on the Guia Circuit.

Joining McGuinness in Paul Bird’s Ventaxia VK Honda squad is an American newcomer, Mike Barnes, one of the most versatile and talented from the USA. He has the skill, machinery and the pedigree to do very well when he has learnt the circuit.
(I remember Mike from when he was racing at Macau years ago, on an absolute animal of a bike, a 1340cc GSXR Suzuki...Ed.)

Joining the 12-strong British contingent is Stuart Easton, Supersport winner at Macau in 2002, and second runner-up overall in 2004. The 25-year-old was forced to miss the event last year after breaking his left heel in a test-day incident in France. Easton, racing this year in the British Superbike Championship, finished fifth at Oulton Park when he returned to action after breaking his wrist. Easton will race with Hydrex-Bike Animal Honda on a Superbike this year. Partnering Easton will be Guy Martin. Although the 27-year-old qualified fifth for Macau last year, he was unable to start the race due to injury, but he has been in impressive form on pure-road circuits this season, including the Isle of Man TT races, the NW200 and Oliver’s Mount, Scarborough, where he created history winning the International Steve Henshaw Gold Cup for a record-breaking 6th time, the first rider ever to achieve such a feat. Riding the Hydrex-Bike Animal Honda he dominated proceedings to win by over 13 seconds, claiming the circuit outright lap record along the way, whilst he also won both Superbike races to crown a highly successful weekend.

Winner of the 600cc Supersport class three times in a row Steve Allan is back, this year on an AVIVA Kawasaki superbike. The likeable Scot races in the British Superstock Championship and at Macau will be joined on the team by Briton Ian Hutchinson, a TT winner and strong road racer who is making his fourth visit to Macau. Another strong contender is Thomas Hinterreiter back with Macau.com Yart. The 41-year old Austrian finished on the podium at Macau last year, his 3rd place a career best at Macau. The highly-experienced endurance rider has finished as high as second in the World Endurance Championships.

Conor Cummins from the Isle of Man is back to compete in his second Grand Prix after the young rider impressed with a fifth-place finish in his debut last year. In 2007, Cummins was crowned Irish Superbike Road Race Champion, Irish Supersport Road Race Champion and Duke Road Race Rankings Champion. The 22-year old had success this year at the Isle of Man TT and North West 200 and races in the British Superstock Championship. Cummins also took part in a one-off race at Croft in the British Supersport Championship.

Cummins will be competing at Macau with Team Of Paris A.I.M. Racing on a Yamaha. Also with Team Of Paris this year are Frenchmen Gerald Muteau, Amaury Baratin, Fabrice Miguet and Pierre Chapuis. Muteau and Chapuis have been racing together in the World Endurance Championship, where they finished 13th in the Le Mans 24 hours. The pair has partnered for several French endurance races and while both have raced at Macau before, Baratin and Miguet will be making their Macau debuts.

Amongst the four-rider American entry for the Far East Classic is Mark “Thriller” Miller, sixth last year. The licensed pilot, who finished on the podium in 2000, is back with Corona Extra Honda Racing. Team mate for Macau is fellow American Jeremy Toye, who just missed out on a podium finish at Macau last year. Toye recorded two finishes in the WSMC 200 in the US this season.

From the Pacific comes the duo of New Zealander Bruce Anstey, making a return to Macau after a five-year absence, and popular Australian Cameron Donald. The pair will be racing with Relentless Suzuki by Tas. Thirty-nine-year-old Anstey will make his superbike debut at Macau this year, having finished second in the 600cc Supersport class in his last appearance here in 2003. Anstey has recorded several successes, including a triple win at the 2004 Ulster Grand Prix. This year’s results included a win in the Supersport 2, and a second place in the Superbike race, at the Isle of Man TT. For Donald, who won the Supersport Class in 2001 and 2003, this will be only his second time on a superbike in seven Macau appearances. This year, Donald won both the Superstock and the Superbike races at the Isle of Man TT and at the North West 200, he was third in the Superstock race and second in the Superbike race.

Representing Portugal are Luis Carreira, Rui Reigoto and Jose Leite. Carreira and Leite both competed last year, with each rider achieving their best result to date. Reigoto, who last competed at Macau in 2005, will race with Vodafone/Kawasaki/KMS.

Amongst the seven exciting newcomers making their Macau debuts this year is professional AMA American road racer Scott Jensen, who has competed in the AMA Superbike category since 2002. The 46-year old is entered on a Moto Garage Racing Suzuki.

British newcomers include James Storrar and Steve Mercer on DMR Racing Yamahas, and Gary Johnson on a BTS Racing Honda. Storrar, 21, has raced in the British Superstock Cup, finishing fifth overall in 2006. This year, Johnson raced at the Isle of Man TT and the North West 200.

Also new is Belgian Marc Fissette, with IXO-Churrascao Racing. This year Fissette has been racing in the Belgian Endurance Championship and the 34-year old has won the Belgian Supersport Championship and the Belgian Superstock Championship.

In the 600cc Supersport category are Rico Penzkofer, runner-up in the class at Macau last year and racing in 2008 with the IGT-Yamaha Austria Racing Team, Briton Keith Amor on an A.I.M. Racing Yamaha, Frenchman Gerald Muteau of Team Of Paris on the only Triumph in the field, and Macau’s Joao Fernandes on a Macau Racing Team Yamaha. In June, Fernandes won two races at the Zhuhai International Circuit in the ZIC superbike event.

Making his Macau debut will be Briton Dan Linfoot, a 20-year-old star of the future who has already racked up experience in the European Superstock 600 Championship, winning the recent Magny Cours round in France. The Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix will be Linfoot’s first “real” road race, and the young driver says he is looking forward to enjoying the experience of racing on the highly-regarded Guia Circuit. He is entered by Rob Mac Racing on a 600cc Yamaha.

Two Macau riders will compete in the 600cc Supersport category. Sou Sio Hong and Leong Iok Choi will each ride Yamahas, while the sole Hong Kong entrant is Cheung Wai On, sixth in the category last year.

YAMAHA AUSTRIA'S SBK-R1...READY TO TAKE TO THE STREETS

FIRST NEWS FROM MACAU 2008...

With the demise of Stonebaker Racing at the end of the year, Dan Linfoot's season won't be coming to an end when he completes the final two rounds of the European Superstock 600 Championship as scheduled, in which he currently lies fifth. Shortly afterwards in November, the 20-year-old Knaresborough rider will experience the challenge of "real roads" racing when he enters the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix for the first time.

Located on the south-east coast of China in what was once a Portuguese province, the annual Macau Grand Prix is known for being an international street circuit event in which both car and motorcycle races are held. Former winners around the 3.8-mile course include Kevin Schwantz, Carl Fogarty and Ron Haslam.

Although the idea to enter the event was raised early in the year by the team Dan rides for in the Superstock championship, StoneBaker Racing, Linfoot saw his hopes dashed when the squad later announced they would be disbanding at the end of the season. A trip to the Isle of Man just after the famous TT races had been held only strengthened his desire to try his hand at pure road racing and explore it a possible future career option. Later, whilst following up various options within the British race paddock to secure a ride for 2009, Dan held discussions with leading team manager Rob McElnea and suddenly the opportunity to ride at Macau was back on.

Linfoot will run under McElnea's "Pro Ride" banner aboard a Yamaha YZF-R6 in the Supersport class within the main 15-lap race, which is open to both World Superbike and MotoGP specification machinery. Practice and qualifying begins on November 13th with the race being held two days later on Saturday November 15th.

Explaining his decision to enter a real roads race for the first time, Dan says: "I have always taken interest in the roads, but have never had the chance to do anything about it. My trip to the Isle of Man earlier in the year was a real eye-opener as far as making me aware of how much bigger the sport appears to be over the water. It wasn't even TT week but everything still seemed to revolve around bikes. So for somebody who has been brought up with bikes all his life and wants to make a career out of the sport, I began to see the TT and road racing as another great chance to showcase a rider's talent."

He continues: "Macau will be all about introducing me to real road racing. I've never ridden a motorcycle on a public road before so I have to go there open minded, looking to learn a huge amount and to ride within my limits. I already respect the circuit and whilst I expect to be competitive I am not setting my sights on achieving a podium finish or anything similar. This is going to be my first time away from a short circuit and I think to set above-board targets could impact negatively on me. I hope to gain valuable circuit knowledge for future years and to confirm my belief that real road racing is another avenue I should explore. I am looking forward to the whole experience, especially competing on a new motorcycle and working with the guys from Rob McElnea's team, which I am going to make the most of."

Team Manager McElnea added: "This is a great opportunity for both Dan and myself. The Macau GP is a huge international stage and one I am sure Dan is looking forward to. Dan is refreshing with his outlook to the road-racing scene and sees this event as a great experience, one I am sure he will relish. We are keen to see how Dan performs on our bike and to evaluate his feedback, although we are also mindful of this being his first visit to Macau and indeed his first-ever road race so it is crucial he takes the learning curve step-by-step and enjoys every minute. We will be his pillion riders back at base!"


LEFT TO RIGHT - JOHM McGUINNESS, STEVE PLATER and "Mr ENDURANCE" BRIAN MORRISON
(Photo from GCS)

FOR THOSE OF YOU GOING ON TO PATTAYA FROM MACAU...

I'm not going to recommend any of the less-than-salubrious places to go in the fine village of Pattaya - except maybe Tahitian Queen, home of the Jesters MC...or the Doll House...or Beavers...or Angelwitch (Soi 15, Walking Street - best shows in town)...

...but remember, there's usually something going on at the local track Bira - and you can tear up the track at two pretty good karting tracks. Pattaya Kart Speedway (on Soi Thepprasit) also has an off-road track, along with paint-balling (if you want to get all dressed up in 34 degrees and 95% humidity, it's up to you). The International track, KR Go Kart is also on Soi Thepprasit and, in fact, just on the opposite site of the Soi where you will find the Pattaya Kart Speed way. For my money, it's by far the better track - longer, too, at 1100 meters. The track is perfect, the karts well maintained and there are 3-4 types of karts with different performances to choose from, so you can scare yourself sh witless, should you choose - and the great thing is that they're both within walking distance of each other on the same road (just on opposite sides). Compared to any in Europe, they're much more relaxed (so you really have to be a responsible adult!) and they're damned cheap.

For eating out, there's far too many to choose from - but if you're after seafood, Lobster Pot is better and friendlier than King Lobster, both on Walking Street.

Finally, for an absolutely first class meal, I cannot recommend Bruno's highly enough - superb dining, magnificent wine cellar (truly!) Tell him Clive McNeil and Colin Marshall recommended it to you. See the map below.

THE LIST AND CONTACT DETAILS OF HOTELS IN MACAU CAN BE FOUND HERE

PAST WINNERS

YEAR RIDER BIKE
     
1967 1 - Hiroshi Hasegawa ( JPN )  Yamaha RD 56
  2 - Siu Man To ( HKD )  Honda CB 77
  3 - Thio Soen Biaw ( IDN )  Suzuki Aido
1968 1 - Hiroshi Hasegawa ( JPN )  Yamaha 250
  image
2 - John MacDonald ( HKD ) 
Yamaha TD 1C
  3 - Siu Man To ( HKD )  Yoshimura Honda
1969 image
1 - John MacDonald ( HKD ) 
Yamaha
  2 - Jason Ho ( HKD )  Yamaha
  3 - Lam Iok Chun ( MAC )  Yamaha
1970 1 - Benny Hidajat ( IDN )  Yamaha YSI
  2 - Chan Su Kuan ( MAC )  Suzuki
  3 - Tjetjep Herijana ( IDN )  Yamaha TR2
1971 1 - O.Motohashi ( JPN )  Yamaha
  2 - S.Minuro ( JPN )  Yamaha
  3 - C.J.F.James ( HKD )  Honda CB 750
1972 1 - Ikujiro Takai ( JPN )  Yamaha TR3
  2 - Yutaka Oda ( JPN )  Yamaha TR3
  3 - Akira Terui ( JPN )  Yamaha TR3
1973 1 - Ken Araoka ( JPN )  Suzuki RG 500
  2 - Akira Terui ( JPN )  Suzuki TR 500
  3 - Toshimitsu Sou ( JPN )  Suzuki TR 500
1974 1 - Hiroyuki Kawasaki ( JPN )  Yamaha
  2 - Ikujiro Takai ( JPN )  Yamaha
  3 - Sadeo Asami ( JPN )  Yamaha
1975 1 - Hideo Kanaya ( JPN ) Yamaha
  2 - Ken Araoka ( JPN ) Suzuki RG 500
  3 - Sadeo Asami ( JPN ) Yamaha
1976 1 - Chas Mortimer ( GBR ) Yamaha
  2 - Akira Terui ( JPN ) Yamaha
  3 - Sonny Soh ( MAL ) Yamaha
1977 1 - Mick Grant ( GBR ) Kawasaki 750
  2 - Stan Woods ( GBR ) Suzuki RG 500
  3 - Akira Terui ( JPN ) Yamaha
1978 1 - Sadeo Asami ( JPN ) Yamaha 750
  2 - Steve Parrish ( GBR ) Yamaha
  3 - Mike Trimby ( GBR ) Yamaha
1979 1 - Sadeo Asami ( JPN ) Yamaha TZ-OW
  2 - Steve Parrish ( GBR ) Suzuki RG-MK4
  3 - Bernard Murray ( GBR ) Yamaha TZ 750
1980 1 - Sadeo Asami ( JPN ) Yamaha TZ 750
  2 - Steve Parrish ( GBR ) Suzuki RG 500
  3 - Bernard Murray ( GBR ) Yamaha TZ 750
1981 image
1 - Ron Haslam ( GBR ) 
Honda RS 1123
  2 - Sadeo Asami ( JPN ) Yamaha TZ 750
  3 - Boet Von Dulmen ( NLD ) Yamaha TZ 750
1982 image
1 - Ron Haslam ( GBR ) 
Honda RS 1123
  2 - Mick Grant ( GBR ) Suzuki 1023
  3 - Joey Dunlop ( IRL ) Honda RS 1123
1983 image
1 - Ron Haslam ( GBR ) 
Honda 500
  2 - Joey Dunlop ( IRL ) Honda 1000
  3 - Roger Marshall ( GBR ) Honda 500
1984 1 - Mick Grant ( GBR ) Suzuki 500
  2 - Roger Marshall ( GBR ) Honda 500
  3 - Mark Salle ( GBR ) Suzuki 500
1985 image
1 - Ron Haslam ( GBR ) 
Honda RS 500
  2 - Didier de Radigues ( BEL ) Honda RS 500
  3 - Eero Hyvarinen ( FIN ) Honda RS 500
1986 image
1 - Ron Haslam ( GBR ) 
Elf Honda 500
  2 - Didier de Radigues ( BEL ) Honda RS 500
  3 - Randy Renfrow ( USA ) Honda RS 500
1987 1 - Ron Haslam ( GBR ) Roc Elf Honda 4
  2 - Peter Rubatto ( GER ) Bimota YB4
  3 - Hiroyuki kawasaki ( JPN ) Yamaha YZR 500
1988 1 - Kevin Schwantz ( USA ) Suzuki 500 RGR 
  2 - Peter Rubatto ( GER ) Bimota Yamaha 750
  3 - Robert Dunlop ( IRL ) Honda RC 30
1989 1 - Robert Dunlop ( IRL ) Honda 500
  2 - Philip McCallen ( IRL ) Honda 750
  3 - Steve Hislop ( GBR ) Honda 750
1990 1 - Steve Hislop ( GBR ) Honda 750
  2 - Peter Rubatto ( GER ) Yamaha 750
  3 - Dave Leach ( GBR ) Yamaha 750
1991 1 - Didier de Radigues ( BEL ) Suzuki 500
  2 - Eddie Laycock ( IRL ) Yamaha 500
  3 - Philip McCallen ( IRL ) Honda 750
1992 1 - Carl Fogarty ( GBR ) Yamaha 500
  2 - Toshihiko Honma ( JPN ) Yamaha 500
  3 - Jamie Whitham ( GBR ) Yamaha 500
1993 1 - Steve Hislop ( GBR ) ROC Yamaha 500
  2 - Robert Dunlop ( IRL ) ROC Yamaha 500
  3 - Mark Farmer ( IRL ) Ducati 900
1994 1 - Steve Hislop ( GBR ) Harris Yamaha 500
  2 - Mike Edwards ( GBR ) ROC Yamaha 500
  3 - Philip McCallen ( IRL )  Millar Yamaha 500
1995 1 - Mike Edwards ( GBR ) Roc Yamaha 500
  2 - Philip McCallen ( IRL )  Yamaha 500
  3 - Andreas Hofmann ( SWI ) Kawasaki 750
1996 1 - Philip McCallen ( IRL ) Yamaha 500
  2 - Roger Bennett ( GBR ) Kawasaki 750
  image
3 - Michael Rutter ( GBR ) 
Kawasaki 750
1997 1 - Andreas Hofmann ( SWI ) Kawasaki 750
  2 - Philip McCallen ( IRL ) Yamaha 500
  3 - Shawn Higbee ( USA ) Suzuki 900
1998 image
1 - Michael Rutter ( GBR ) 
Honda  RC 45
  2 - Ian Simpson ( GBR ) Honda RC 45
  3 - John McGuinness ( GBR ) Honda 500
1999 1 - David Jefferies ( GBR ) Yamaha 1000
  2 - Andreas Hofmann ( SWI ) Kawasaki 750
  image
3 - Michael Rutter ( GBR ) 
Suzuki 750
2000 1 - Michael Rutter ( GBR ) Yamaha 750
  2 - David Jefferies ( GBR ) Yamaha 998
  3 - Mark Miller ( USA ) Yamaha 1000
2001 1 - John McGuinness ( GBR ) Honda 960
  2 - Roger Bennett ( GBR ) Ducati 966
  3 - David Jefferies ( GBR ) Yamaha 1000
2002 image
1 - Michael Rutter (GBR)
Ducati
  2 - John McGuinness (GBR) Honda
  3 - David Jefferies (GBR) Suzuki
2003 image
1 - Michael Rutter (GBR) 
Ducati/ 998
  2 - John McGuinness (GBR) Ducati/ 999
  3 - Brian Morrison (GBR) Suzuki/ 1000
2004 image
1 - Michael Rutter (GBR) 
Honda/ 1000
  2 - John McGuinness (GBR) Ducati/ 999
  3 - Stuart EASTON (GBR) Ducati/ 999
2005 image
1 - Michael RUTTER (GBR) 
Honda
  2 - John MCGUINNESS (GBR) Honda
  3 - Les SHAND (GBR) Yamaha
2006 1 - Steve PLATER (GBR) Yamaha 1000cc - AIM Racing 
  image
2 - Michael RUTTER (GBR)  
Honda 1000cc - Stobart Motorsport 
  3 - Ian HUTCHINSON (GBR) Honda 1000cc - Stobart Motorsport 
2007 1 - Steve PLATER (GBR) Yamaha 1000cc - AIM Racing 
  image
2 - John McGuinness (GBR)  
Honda 1000cc - Stobart Motorsport 
  3 - Tom  HINTERREITER (AUT) Yamaha 1000cc - Yamaha Austria