Rutter dominant in Macau, taking eighth victory
Michael Rutter secured his place in the history books taking an eighth victory in Macau and dominating the two-wheel action. Using the latest generation Pirelli Diablo Superbike slick tyres from the company’s ‘road race’ programme, Rutter opted for a harder rear compound for his SMT Honda Fireblade which lasted throughout this unique race at the former Portuguese colony. Runner-up Martin Jessopp (Riders Ducati) chose the softer option rear to record a fastest lap at this final International event of the year.
During practice, incidents in the Formula 3 and World Touring Cars forced qualifying to be shortened, as Rutter put in an early 2:27.566 lap to go to the top of the table, before securing pole position with a 2:27.545. Fellow Pirelli riders Martin Jessopp, Gary Johnson and Conor Cummins qualified third, fourth and fifth respectively.
Michael Rutter said, “To get my eighth win here is just incredible, I love this event. It was a tough race and Martin kept me on my toes but the Pirelli tyres continued to give great grip throughout the race, allowing me to keep pushing to the very end.”
Pirelli UK Racing Manager Jason Griffiths said: “What a fantastic result! Five wins from five starts at the Macau GP for Pirelli. Michael made a great start and controlled the race throughout. He ran the same road race spec rear Diablo Superbike as last year, confident with its consistent performance and knowing durability would not be an issue and Martin took a deserved second with a slightly softer option. Our thanks go to the SMT Honda and Riders Ducati teams for their commitment to Pirelli.”