Bikes: Rutter on Provisional Macau pole

Record-chasing Rutter on Provisional Macau Grand Prix  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 yesterday’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.

Qualifying concludes today (Friday) with the 42nd running of the Motorcycle Grand Prix on Saturday afternoon.