Macau Grand Prix: McGuinness tops first qualifying session

Isle of Man TT legend proves he's got the pace with rival Rutter 0.23s adrift

JOHN McGuinness has topped today's first qualifying session at this year's Macau grand prix on his Honda Fireblade.

Isle of Man TT legend McGuinness has made a great start to his 2015 Macau campaign, lapping at 2:27.246 to lead the way in the first qualifying session, putting Martin Jessopp in his place after he initially took the top spot in practice. 

Second in Q1 is old rival Michael Rutter, who finished the session 0.230s behind McGuinness with a lap time of 2:27.476 on-board the BMW. He's still a major contender for a win and looks ready to potentially take his ninth Macau victory.

Martin Jessopp finished practice at the top of the time sheets, but third in Q1 0.235s behind Rutter and 0.465s behind the Morecambe Missile. Jessopp is also riding a BMW S1000RR around the streets of Macau and is in with a high chance of claiming a podium position this year.

PBM Kawasaki's Ian Hutchinson finished in fourth, just over 1.5 seconds off the pace of McGuinness while Lincolnshire's Gary Johnson, on the second BMW, and Kawasaki rider Horst Säiger completed the top six just over two seconds behind the leading man.

Peter Hickman has begun his second campaign at the Macau grand prix and finished seventh in Q1 on the Briggs BMW with a lap time of 2:29.463. He was only 0.2s behind Saiger. Northern Ireland's Lee Johnston, racing on his usual East Coast BMW, finished seventh fastest with a 2:29.529s lap just 2.2s off the time set by McGuinness.  

Manxman Conor Cummins finished ninth on the Honda Racing Fireblade while Scottish rider Jimmy Storrar completed the top 10 on the second PBM machine. 

Last year's winner Stuart Easton only completed eight laps and finished down in 15th place on the SMT Yamaha R1, 6.1 seconds off the pace. However, Easton is said to still be recovering from the huge accident he had in BSB in July. 

The session was red-flagged for a time due to an incident which involved Russ Mountford. Mountford's other half took to Twitter to explain she has spoken to the doctor who has confirmed he is conscious with no head injuries, but he does have a fractured pelvis and a break in his leg that will require surgery.

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