Michael Rutter is a seven-time winner of the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix and he will start from pole position in his bid for an eighth victory in 2012.
The Macau Grand Prix is well underway and Michael Rutter will start from pole position. The Blade is chasing after his eighth Macau win with Honda’s Jezac SMT Racing team, alongside Isle of Man TT legend John McGuinness, who qualified in second. RidersMotorcycles.com’s Martin Jessopp posted the third fastest time with Quattro Plant Motorsports’ Gary Johnson in fourth and Tyco Suzuki’s Conor Cummins rounding out the top-five.
Qualifying started on Thursday, November 15th but was halted after Portuguese rider Luis Carreira crashed at Fisherman’s Bend. Sadly, the incident claimed Carreira’s life.
According to a statement released by the Macau Grand Prix Committee, “The qualifying session was immediately red flagged. The medical services, a fast intervention vehicle, fully equipped, and an ambulance with two doctors in attendance, which were located at the side of the accident immediately went to the rider’s aid, and as a result of the doctors’ diagnosis, Mr. Carreira was immediately evacuated by ambulance to the hospital, where he was admitted at 16.08.
“Continuous CPR was performed; however he succumbed to his injuries at 16.28.
“The Macau Grand Prix Committee has contacted the family and the members of the team, and the Committee expresses its sincere condolences.”
Conor Cummins made a big improvement on his lap time in Q2, moving up to the fifth starting position at Macau.
Rutter was in the top spot when the session was cancelled, and carried over his pace to Friday’s session, taking almost one second off his time. McGuinness saw a three second improvement on his time in Q2 while Jessop remained consistent with the time he set in Q1. Johnson and Cummins also shaved close to four seconds off their respective lap times.
“Today went better in Q2,” said Cummins. “We were given a free practice in place of the original Q2 morning slot, which gave us time to try another set up on the Superbike. This worked out well, as I was able to find four seconds to put us fifth in the session. This set us up nicely going into the actual Q2 session in the afternoon.”
Though qualifying in the Motorcycle class proceeded without incident on Friday, the same could not be said for the CTM Macau Touring Car Cup session. Phillip Yau Wing Choi suffered a crash at Mandarin Bend which ultimately took his life. Macau GP Committee officials released this statement regarding the accident.
“The incident occurred at Mandarin Bend at 13.11. The qualifying session was immediately red flagged.
“After the incident, two fully equipped rescue cars were at the scene, followed by the extrication car. The position of the racing car required cutting in order to facilitate extrication. At 13.19, the competitor was removed from the car, and at 13:20 Mr. Yau was transported by ambulance to hospital where he was admitted at 13.24.
“Continuous CPR was performed however he succumbed to his injuries at 13.51.
“The Macau Grand Prix Committee has contacted the family and the members of the team. The Committee expresses its sincere condolences.”
The Macau Grand Prix features motorcycles and cars racing on a 3.8-mile circuit through the streets of Macau, a special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China. It draws riders from all over the world and is often cited, along with the Isle of Man TT and North West 200, as one of the premier motorcycle road racing events in the world.
2012 Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix Friday Qualifying Results:
1. Michael Rutter (Honda) 2’27.545
2. John McGuinness (Honda) 2’27.763
3. Martin Jessopp (Ducati) 2’29.287
4. Gary Johnson (Honda) 2’29.497
5. Conor Cummins (Suzuki) 2’30.075
6. Horst Saiger (Kawasaki) 2’30.203
7. Simon Andrews (BMW) 2’30.256
8. James Storrar (BMW) 2’30.851
9. Dan Kneen (Suzuki) 2’31.680
10. James Hillier (Kawasaki) 2’31.787
11. Didier Grams (BMW) 2’31.850
12. James McBride (BMW) 2’32.402
13. Riko Penzkofer (BMW) 2’33.550
14. Steve Mercer (Honda) 2’34.204
15. Branko Srdanov (BMW) 2’34.669