EASTON WINS 42nd MACAU GRAND PRIX ON DOOSAN HONDA
Stuart Easton, riding the Doosan Honda 1000cc Fireblade, has won the 2008 Macau Grand Prix.
Starting from sixth position, on row two of the grid, the 24-year-old Scotsman from Hawick made a flying start and by the third corner had clawed his way up to third place behind multiple Macau GP winner Michael Rutter and race leader Cameron Donald.
On the second lap, Stuart got the better of Rutter and moved into second place behind the Suzuki of double Isle of Man TT winner Cameron Donald.
Easton increased the pressure on the Australian's TAS Suzuki with each passing lap around the 6.12km Circuito Da Guia and on lap five, Donald suffered a mechanical failure forcing him to retire leaving Stuart with a clear track ahead.
NW200 Ducati rider Rutter was chasing hard and by lap eight, both Stuart and Michael had broken clear of the following pack. By lap thirteen there was a twenty-second gap between the two front runners and third place man John McGuinness.
Rutter continued to pile on the pressure but Stuart was controlling the race from the front and held off the Ducati challenge to cross the finish line 2.722 seconds ahead of the six-times winner.
An elated Stuart said: "After qualifying, I told the team that I couldn't fault the bike and was feeling very confident about the race. I got a great start and by the third lap had settled in nicely behind Cameron. Unfortunately for him he retired leaving me with a three-second lead over Michael on the Ducati. I think it was fairly even between Michael and myself and during the mid-part of the race I have to admit I was feeling the pressure of leading. In the latter stages we had to clear groups of backmarkers which really focussed my mind and I realised I could win. I pushed hard during the last few laps I really dug deep and eventually finished almost three seconds ahead of Michael."
"I must compliment the team because without doubt that's the best race bike I've ever ridden. The team have worked so hard and the result speaks for itself."
"What a fantastic day for the team" said smiling Crew Chief Mick Shanley, "Right from the off Stuart didn't put a foot wrong and thoroughly deserves this, his first Macau GP win. The SMR team has been working so hard all season and Stuart has given myself and the lads that elusive victory and the perfect end to the 2008 season."
Shaun Muir, SMR Team Owner, was naturally delighted also: "Stuart rode a hard, fast and more importantly, a safe race on his very first outing for our team and our Macau GP sponsors, Doosan. I could not have hoped for a better outcome and the result is a testimony to all the hard work from all the team."
Top 6 Positions (of 32):
1, S Easton (Doosan Honda) 37:09.404
2, M Rutter (NW200 Ducati) 37:12.126
3, J McGuinness (Vent Axia Honda) 37:41.115
4, L Carreira (Benimoto Suzuki) 37:49.366
5, M Barnes (Vent Axia Honda) 37:49.386
6, S Thompson (Sloan Honda) 37:55.314
The race will be shown on Motors TV (Sky Channel 413) at 2pm UK time on Sunday 16th November.