Easton on Pole as he Looks for Repeat Motorcycle Grand Prix Victory

Stuart Easton, the 26-year-old Scottish racer, will start on pole position for tomorrow's 43rd running of the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix after qualifying fastest in the two timed sessions for the Far East Classic. Easton, on the Hydrex IGT Honda 1000, did not improve on his Thursday's fastest lap, but today none of his rivals were able to get near his best lap.

Easton finished over four fifths of a second faster than Conor Cummins (PBM Kawasaki WSBK Team), the 23-year-old racer from the Isle of Man.

Cummins qualified fastest for last year's race before breaking down with electrical problems soon after half distance, but he went faster this time to snatch second place on the starting grid.

Michael Rutter, the 36-year-old Leicestershire rider who is looking for his record-breaking seventh win in the event, was third fastest on the Team of Paris-AXA Racing Kawasaki 1000, but his machine finally broke down on his final lap of qualifying after suffering a misfire for most of the session.

Another British rider, Ian Hutchinson (PBM Kawasaki WSBK Team), the 30-year- old Yorkshireman, was fourth fastest to complete the front row of the grid for the 15-lap race, improving on his best lap of the opening session to go within two fifths of a second of Rutter's time.

Veteran Michael Barnes, on another PBM Kawasaki, was fifth fastest, two fifths of a second behind Hutchinson, after finally getting what he described as his first good nights' sleep since leaving his Florida home.

German Rico Penzkofer (BMW Macau Racing Team 1000), was sixth fastest, just over a tenth of a second slower than Barnes.

It was very close in the Supersport 600 Class with the fastest three riders all covered by less than a quarter of a second. Frenchman Amaury Baratin (Team of Paris-AXA Racing Triumph 675) was fastest but only by four hundredths of a second from Joao Fernandes (Yamaha) from Macau.

Cheung Wai On, the 28-year-old racer from Hong Kong, was third fastest on his new Kawasaki just a fifth of a second slower.

-credit: macu