MonsterMob One Two in Macau Qualifying
MonsterMob Ducati's John McGuinness will start tomorrow's 38th Hotel Fortuna Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix from Pole Position having scorched around the twisty Circuito da Guia nearly one and a half seconds faster than team mate Stuart Easton who will start alongside the Lancastrian.
Going into the team's swansong race after four memorable years with Ducati, the VK MonsterMob F04 pairing out-paced Austrian Thomas Hinterreiter (Yamaha) and pre-event favourite Michael Rutter (Honda) around the Far Eastern 6.12km track, to clinch the top two slots on the grid in readiness for tomorrow's race.
Six times TT winner McGuinness set the early pace in the first free practice session before Rutter speeded up in the second one but in the all important timed session today, John set a time of 2:28.663 which was good enough to clinch him the pole as he goes for his second Macau victory.
Reunited with the team that won the 2002 British Supersport title, young Scot Stuart Easton was riding a superbike at the former Portuguese colony for only the second time and chased McGuinness home in a time of 2:29.986, the only two riders to crack the two and a half minute lap barrier.
Riding the Slingshot built MonsterMob Honda, veteran journalist Gus Scott ended up fifth fastest but a spill coming out of the final corner injured the Cumbria's shoulder and he may be forced to miss the race.
Speaking from Macau, team boss Paul Bird said that their joy was tempered with a tinge of sadness:
"To claim one and two on the grid for our final race with Ducati is brilliant but the whole team has a lump in their throats and it's strange because there are a few long faces around when we should really be celebrating. It would be magnificent if we could get the race win tomorrow and a rostrum also would be fitting. Whatever happens, it's going to be a very emotional time for us all."
<pre> Qualifying: 1 John McGuinness GB MonsterMob Ducati 2:28.663 2 Stuart Easton GB MonsterMob Ducati 2:29.986 3 Thomas Hinterreiter AUT Yamaha 2:30.663 4 Michael Rutter GB Honda 2:30.906 5 Gus Scott GB MonsterMob Slingshot Honda 2:31.122 6 Marcel Kellenberger CH Kawasaki 2:32.126 7 Roger Bennett GB Ducati 2:32.640 8 Josh Hayes USA Kawasaki 2:33.206 9 Markus Barth D Kawasaki 2:33.262 10 Geoff May USA Suzuki 2:33.320
The warm up takes place tomorrow (Saturday) at 07.30 local time (15.30 GMT) with the 15 lap race scheduled to start at 15.15 (23.15 GMT).