JEFFERIES REVS UP FOR MOTORCYCLE GP AFTER A RED-HOT SEASON IN BRITAIN
Yorkshireman David Jefferies will compete in this weekend's Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix riding on the back of a brilliant season less than a year after changing teams. Determined to regain the Macau title he won in 1999, the 30-year-old multiple Isle of Man TT winner will compete for TAS Suzuki GB - 11 months after severing ties with the highly successful V&M Yamaha team.
Jefferies also won the British Superstock Championship, clinching the title from rivals John Crockford and Steve Brogan at Donington Park last month apart from winning three of the main Isle of Man TT races this year. Holder of the Isle of Man lap record of 127.2mph set in June, Jefferies will be considered one of the favourites when he lines up in Saturday's 36th edition of the race.
'I joined Suzuki at the beginning of the year and the team are just as good as my last team. We work well together and we should have a good chance of victory in Macau. I had a successful season, winning three races at the Isle of Man, so everything is going smoothly for me,' said Bradford-born Jefferies, who finished third behind Englishman John McGuinness last year in Macau.
'My new bike [Suzuki GSXR 1000] is going very well and we should be okay for Macau. However, the opposition is very strong this year. Mike Rutter [the 1998 and 2000 Macau GP champion] will be hard to beat because he has been racing all year on his Ducati and has a very good bike. McGuinness also has a good bike for Macau and he will be hard to run down,' said Jefferies.
McGuinness, who will riding a Honda 954 racing for the China-Macau Zong Shen Racing Team, will be hoping for back-to-back Macau victories. Englishman Steve Hislop was the last rider to achieve the feat in 1994. McGuinness has been riding a factory Honda in the World Supersport Championship and will partner Ronnie Smith in his fifth visit to Macau. Other riders coming back to Macau include German Markus Barth, who just missed a podium place last year, Marcel Kellenberger of Switzerland, riding a Team Bolliger 900cc Kawasaki, and Briton Iain Duffus, who partners fellow countryman and 2002 TT winner Jim Moodie on the V&M racing pair of 1000cc Yamahas.
Peter Rubatto, one of the greatest riders never to have won in Macau, returns as boss of the Rubatto Racing team, who have entered 25-year-old German Benny Jerzenbeck on a 1000cc Suzuki. The race will also feature Honda Canada for the first time and the North Americans will enter a two-bike team, with Canadian riders Frank Trombino and Kevin Lacombe riding a pair of 1000cc Hondas.
Portugal will be represented by Denny Mascarenhas, Joao Fernandes and Miguel Praia, while Japanese riders Jun Maeda and Yusuke Takeyama will be flying the flag for Japan.