In somewhat bizarre and exceptional circumstances, Michael Rutter has been awarded victory at this year’s Macau Grand Prix with the result declared after just one lap having been completed.
With the first attempt of the race being stopped on lap four due to a crash involving Rob Hodson and Marek Cerveny, both of whom were ok, the race was re-run over eight laps and it was Rutter who led on the MGM by Bathams Racing Honda at the completion of the opening lap with team-mate Peter Hickman in second and the Tak Chun Group by PBM Ducati of David Johnson in third.
Hickman, who was leading the first ‘race’ by a whopping 7.2s, overtook Rutter on the brakes going into Lisboa on the second lap and soon opened up a gap with Rutter closely shadowed by Johnson and Davey Todd whose pace had improved rapidly in morning warm-up after only managing 12th in qualifying.
However, a multiple pile up involving six riders half way round the lap brought the red flag out once more and some three hours afterwards, organisers declared the race a result after just that first lap with no time in the packed schedule on Sunday to run the race for a third time.
Rutter was duly awarded his ninth Macau GP win with Hickman, who had been the fastest rider all week, in second ahead of Johnson who claimed his first Macau GP podium in thrd. Todd, Lee Johnston and Ian Hutchinson completed the top six.
Out of the six riders involved in the crash, Erno Kostamo, Derek Sheils and Dan Kruger were all taken to hospital but were conscious with non-life threatening injuries. Michael Sweeney, Phil Crowe and Dider Grans were all able to return to the paddock.