Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM) head out to the Far East this week hoping for more success at the 45th annual City of Dreams Macau Grand Prix which takes place on Saturday around the 6.12km Circuito Da Guia.
Team owner Paul Bird has assembled a trio of riders for his IGT Kawasaki Racing
Team in the bid to add to the team’s victory of last year in the hands of Stuart Easton which added to the one a decade ago with John McGuinness.
Despite Easton being injured this year and unable to compete, the Penrith businessman
has still assembled a team with a truly international flavour aboard the factory-backed
Kawasaki ZX-10Rs and they look well placed to add to the tally.
Ulsterman Michael Dunlop makes his Macau debut but after a strong showing this
season which has seen him win at the Isle of Man TT and Ulster Grand Prix,
the 22-year-old from Ballymoney is expected to challenge the regular front-runners
from the off.
Manxman Conor Cummins returns to Macau for the fifth time and the 25-year-old
from Ramsey is hoping he can go one better than his runner-up placing in 2009.
Now back to full fitness following his crash at the 2010 TT, Cummins is well
placed to clinch his first Macau victory this time.
Joining the two British riders is American Jeremy Toye who makes the trip
over from San Diego whereby the 40-year-old Californian will be looking for
a repeat of his podium placing last year at very least for the Cumbrian team.
Paul Bird, Team Owner: “Having won the race for the past three years, it’s
a shame Stuart couldn’t defend his title but in his absence, we’re pretty well
placed to challenge for the win I feel. Conor is ready to step up to the plate
again after his big TT crash and has the experience round here and Jeremy is
capable of a podium for sure, as he proved last year. Michael won’t take long
to learn the place and he’s not come here to make up the numbers so I think
the established riders might be in for a bit of a surprise.”
Practice gets underway at 07.30 local time (GMT + 8 hours) on Thursday with
first qualifying at 15.50. The second qualifying session starts at 07.30 on
Friday with Saturday’s 07.30 warm-up followed by the 15-lap race at 15.30.
The Macau track was built in 1960 and the venue welcomed its first Grand Prix motorcycle world championship event in 1975. It has also hosted rounds of the FIA GT Formula 3000 and Formula Three Euro Series in recent years.
Macau GP Michael Rutter made Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix history today by taking a seventh victory on the famous Guia street circuit bettering his existing record.
The first running of the Macau Motor Cycle Grand Prix saw Japan’s Hiroshi Hasegawa take the chequered flag when his Yamaha RD 56 completed 30 laps of the Guia circuit in a time of 1 53 34.00. In 1969 John MacDonald became the first and only Former winners of this event include Mick Grant 1977 1984 Ron Haslam 6 times up to 1987 and Michael Rutter whose 2011 win was his 7th in this Grand Prix. Michael Rutter has won 7 Macau races.
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