Sun, Nov 16, 2003 - Page 24 News List

Michael Rutter of Britain wins Macau Grand Prix

AP , MACAU

Britain's Michael Rutter powers his Ducati 998 past the Lisboa Bend during the 37th Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix, yesterday. Rutter won the 15-lap race.

PHOTO: REUTERS

English racing ace Michael Rutter led from start to finish on his Ducati 998 Saturday to win the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix, becoming only the second rider in the race's 37-year-history to win four times.

Cruising almost faultlessly around the 6.2km Guia street circuit, the 30-year-old defending champion from Wordsley, West Midlands easily outclassed the other 31 riders, completing the 15-lap race in 37 minutes and 43.456 seconds.

Rutter is the second rider in 37 years of motorcycle racing in Macau to take the title four times. Compatriot Ron Haslam did it in 1985 and went on to win the race a record six times.

Rutter drove at an average speed of 146.00kph and clocked the fastest lap with a time of 2 minutes and 28.233 seconds.

Fellow Englishman John McGuinness of Morcambe, Lancashire, came in second, 5.512 seconds behind Rutter. The 31-year-old former bricklayer powered his Ducati 999 around the course with an average speed of 145.65kph, finishing in 37 minutes 48.968 seconds.

McGuinness, who won the race in 2001, said he was pleased with his performance despite having suffered major mechanical problems during a qualifying session earlier.

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