Scottish racer Stuart Easton won his third successive Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix with victory in the 44th running of the Far East classic over the weekend.
Easton, on the Paul Bird Kawasaki Racing Team machine, had to do it the hard way though, beating off a strong challenge from King of Macau, Michael Rutter, on board the Team of Paris AXA Ducati.
Rutter, fastest in qualifying, chased his young rival in the first part of the race until it was red flagged after six laps following a crash involving Canadian Chris Peris.
Then, in the restart, Easton made another attempt to open up a gap over his older rival and at one stage, had got a lead of almost two seconds, but 38-year-old BSB star Rutter closed the gap again and threatened to catch and pass the Kawasaki man.
Easton responded by quickening his pace, setting a brand new lap record of 2:23.616 seconds on the seventh of the nine-lap race, breaking Rutter’s spirit.
“When I saw that Rutter had caught me, I was devastated after trying so hard to break free,” Easton said. “I thought if he could catch me after all that, there was no way I could beat him. But I tried again and managed to open a gap once more.”
At the chequered flag Easton’s winning margin was almost 11 seconds over Rutter.
“I tried to catch Stuart mid-way through the race but then I hit the trackside Armco and said to myself, once is enough – I’m not doing that any more,” said Rutter, who eased off the pace and settled for a safe second place.
Rutter must now wait at least one more year before he can win his record-breaking seventh Macau GP.
Jeremy Toye, the 39-year-old American on the Lee’s Cycles Racing BMW grabbed a dramatic third place within sight of the finishing line after Britain’s Simon Andrews (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) had struck mechanical problems on the final lap.
Gary Johnson (MOCHA/IGT Suzuki), another British rider, was fifth home and John McGuinness (IGT/sorrymate.com), the 2001 race winner, was sixth over the line.
Peris was detained in hospital suffering from a mild right lung contusion and concussion.
Australia’s Cam Donald was eighth for Relentless Suzuki, while David Johnson scored 15th.
2010 Macau Grand Prix Results
1. Stuart Easton
2. Michael Rutter
3. Jeremy Toye
4. Simon Andrews
5. Gary Johnson
6. John McGuinness
7. James Storrar
8. Cameron Donald
9. James McBride
10. Keith Amor
15. David Johnson