Michae Rutter seals 16th podium in Far East

Michael Rutter
Michael Rutter

Evergreen West Midlands rider Michael Rutter polished his Macau Grand Prix record further after sealing his 16th rostrum finish at the 49th Suncity Group Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix on Saturday.

Rutter battled problems with the electronics system on his Penz13.com BMW S1000RR in the opening laps to power through for third place behind maiden winner Peter Hickman (Briggs BMW) and Martin Jessopp from Somerset on the Riders BMW, albeit 15 seconds in arrears.

The 13-time North West 200 winner had qualified in second place but an issue with the traction control system on his machine saw him slip back to fifth behind PBM Kawasaki’s Ian Hutchinson at the start of the 12-lap race.

Rutter, though, gradually got to grips with the problem and found a way past Hutchinson and his Penz13.com team-mate Gary Johnson to take the final place on the rostrum ahead of Honda’s John McGuinness, who came through to snatch fourth from Johnson on the final lap.

“I went off the line and the traction control light immediately came on, which basically meant that everything shut down,” Rutter said.

“I had to learn how to ride the bike again because I had wheelies everywhere and I dropped back to fifth as a result.

“However, I was able to be a bit smoother on the throttle because the traction control light saved the back tyre a bit and I managed to get myself back up to third.

“We had very hot conditions throughout the week but the track was in good condition and I was happy to finish third and get another rostrum,” added Rutter, who has won more times than any other rider at Macau after amassing eight victories in total around the daunting Armco barrier-lined Guia street course.

“The result was what I expected to be fair as Peter and Martin have been riding their bikes all year in BSB.

“And it was always going to be a tough ask to beat those two when they are on form and their bikes are flying.”