Double Rostrum for MonsterMob at Macau GP
McGuinness and Easton Second and Third in Farewell Race For Ducati
MonsterMob Ducati riders John McGuinness and Stuart Easton claimed second and third place respectively in today's 38th Hotel Fortuna Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix as they gave the Paul Bird Motorsport team a glorious send-off in their final race for Ducati.
After four memorable years with Ducati, whereby the team has accrued a total of 40 race wins from 102 starts with a further 44 podium finishes also, the VK MonsterMob F04 pairing were hoping to add to the race victory tally having qualified in first and second on the grid.
32 year old McGuinness, from Morecambe, led for the opening seven laps chased hard by last year's winner Michael Rutter (Honda) with 21 year old Easton keeping a watching brief in third place as they pulled clear of the field.
At half distance, Rutter hit the front but McGuinness, who won the race in 2001, shadowed the Honda man but despite his best efforts, couldn't get past and had to settle for second place once more around the Far Eastern 6.12km street circuit.
"It was very frustrating as when Michael took the lead, he was holding me up in the 'Town' section but I just couldn't put a safe pass on him. I had a look at a couple of the hairpins and was hoping to do it on the last lap but I'm really disappointed I couldn't pull it off. The team deserved this win but it wasn't to be" said the six times TT winner.
Meanwhile Easton, reunited with the team that he won the 2002 British Supersport title with, rode an exceptional race to clinch third place on the rostrum ahead of a number of experienced Macau veterans. On only his second ever superbike race at the former Portuguese colony, the Hawick born but now Dalbeattie based rider was happy with his performance.
"A rostrum is perfect for me and is what I came here to achieve. It was great to work with the team again and it's a pity we couldn't have sent them away with a win on their swansong with Ducati but a double rostrum is a good result for us all" said the young Scot.
Team boss Paul Bird spoke highly of his riders afterwards, and of the emotion in the camp:
"I could have asked for no more from them, they both gave 100% and that's all I can ever ask of a rider. Of course it would have been nice to win our final race for Ducati and it was very frustrating for John that he couldn't re-pass Michael as I reckon he could have won that and as for Stuart, he was simply sensational. I'm very, very proud of my team and can honestly say that this is an end of a very special era. Even John had a tear in his eye which is most unusual!" said the Penrith businessman.
<pre> Race (15 laps) 1 Michael Rutter GB Honda 37m 30.397s 2 John McGuinness GB MonsterMob Ducati 37m 30.915s 3 Stuart Easton GB MonsterMob Ducati 37m 55.218s 4 Thomas Hinterreiter AUT Yamaha 38m 07.931s 5 Josh Hayes USA Kawasaki 38m 22.854s 6 Geoff May USA Suzuki 38m 29.513s 7 Jeremy Toye USA Yamaha 38m 44.366s 8 Steve Allen GB Kawasaki 38m 49.768s 9 James McBride GB Suzuki 39m 10.095s 10 Stephen Thompson GB Suzuki 39m 12.421s