SECOND ROW START FOR EASTON ON DOOSAN HONDA
Stuart Easton, riding the Doosan Honda 1000cc Fireblade, has qualified 6th for tomorrow's 42nd Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix.
Riding the legendary 6.12km Circuito Da Guia, the 24 year old from Hawick in Scotland achieved a lap time of 2:27.923 to secure his place on the second row of the grid.
"It's great to be part of the Doosan team and to be working with such an established crew" said Stuart. "The first Free Practice session was very steady as I was getting used to the Honda Fireblade machine and also having to deal with the very slippery conditions here at Macau."
"First Qualifying was much better as I felt increasingly confident on the bike and realised I could push a little harder with every lap and was satisfied to be fifth at the end of the session."
"In Qualifying 2 I was able to improve my lap time by over 2.5 seconds to secure my place on the second row. I'm very happy with my race pace on race tyres and have a podium finish firmly in my sights to reward the team for their fantastic effort and support."
Crew Chief, Mick Shanley was equally positive; "Stuart fitted into the team immediately and we're all enjoying working with him. I'm really pleased how quickly he has modified his riding style to our machine and to the conditions here at Macau. Despite his lack of experience on qualifying tyres he has performed very well and I think his performance on race tyres will put him up with the front runners."
Shaun Muir, Team Owner, is pleased with his team's performance during qualifying; "A second row start is exactly where we thought we would end up and Stuart has adapted to the bike really quickly. He has worked well with both the bike and the team which has resulted in faster times as each session has progressed. Stuart's race pace is good enough for a podium finish and we're looking forward to tomorrow's race."
Sadly, the second of the Shaun Muir Racing (SMR) teamsters, Guy Martin will not be taking his place on the grid for the race.
The 27 year old Lincolnshire rider crashed his Bike Animal Honda during the opening qualifying session and was knocked unconscious. Swift work by the circuit medical staff had him off to hospital whereby he remained for observation but due to the FIM ruling which stipulates a period of seven days before a rider can race again, he is having to sit the meeting out, just like last year when he broke a wrist in practice.
Shaun Muir said: "That just about sums up Guy's season! The good news is that he's OK but it's not the way neither he nor Bike Animal wanted to end the season. Despite that, he's in good spirits and was out watching Stuart in second qualifying with us."
Top 8 Qualifying Positions (of 32):
1, C Cummins (AIM Yamaha) 2:26.580
2, M Rutter (NW200 Ducati) 2:27.077
3, C Donald (Relentless Suzuki) 2:27.128
4, J McGuinness (Vent Axia Honda) 2:27.521
5, I Hutchinson (Aviva Kawasaki) 2:27.554
6, S Easton (Doosan Honda) 2:27.923
7, J Toye (Corona Honda) 2:29.223
8, M Miller (Corona Honda) 2:29.405
The 15 lap Grand Prix takes place at 15.15 local time (GMT +8) on Saturday 15th November.
The race will be shown on Motors TV (Sky Channel 413) at 2pm UK time on Sunday 16th November.