Michael Rutter extended his record number of Macau Grand Prix motorbike race wins on Sunday with a consummate display to claim his second successive title and eighth overall.
The 40-year-old beat last year’s runner-up, Martin Jessopp, into second place again, while Simon Andrews, in his first race back since a crash in the Isle of Man TT left his body in pieces, finished third.
“It’s so important round here to get a good start, once you can get in front and lift off the pace you want to,” said Rutter. “I’ve been behind Stuart Easton and a few of the others in the past and it’s so difficult if you’re behind, so you want to control it.
“It’s fantastic here, the crowd has been fantastic, they love the bikes over here and hopefully it [his run] can keep continuing.”
Jessopp’s chances seemed to have been blown with a bad start and though he put everything on the line trying to catch Rutter, sailing frighteningly close to the walls at certain points, he eventually realised he’d have to settle for second again.
“I didn’t make it easy for myself with a terrible start,” he said. “We gambled on a soft tyre, not expecting such a poor start. I got through the guys pretty good, but maybe we dropped off a bit.
“It would have been interesting to see if I could have chased Michael with a good start, but he’s the King of Macau so it still wouldn’t have been easy.
“I was definitely pushing, I was trying hard and making some clean passes, but once the tyre went off a bit, it was clear I wasn’t able to catch up to Michael and I settled down a bit - and tried to leave a bit more room between me and the walls.”
Andrews was just please to be back on a bike again and admitted the podium finish was more than he could have expected: “I have to thank all my physios and all my team for letting me do this [after] having been off all year since the TT,” he said. “I’m feeling it now and I was glad it was 10 laps and not 15, but I enjoyed it.”