M Pearson + vid

Macau Misery for Pearson

Ballygowans Michael Pearson’s first visit to the far east venue of Macau on Saturday morning lasted just two full laps of the 3.8 mile Guia Circuit, after clutch failure of the BTS Honda Fireblade, ended Pearson’s hope of a finish, with the 32 year old Co-Down rider gutted after returning to the pits.
Pearson, who had upped his pace consistently all week during free practice and qualifying, still felt that the visit had been a worth while exercise, and that a return next year would be on his calendar of events.

Michael Pearson: “what can I say…You can never allow for something like this to happen even though machine failure is always at the back of your mind at any race. We replaced the clutch on the BTS Honda during the week, and these clutches are normally good enough for two starts, but for some reason or other it let go today. Of course I am gutted, but it was out of my hands. I was confident enough for a race result today, a finish being my aim on the track, but I suppose I will have to wait another year. Its been a brilliant experience, and very worth while. You need to be very good around here to get near the top boys on the quick bikes, and the way that Stuart Easton and Conner Cummins rode was simply quite astonishing to watch. Back to the drawing board now for the 2010 season”.

Willis Marshall (Manager) “I am totally gutted for Michael. To go such a long way from home, to qualify and qualify well, then to get just two laps of the race, is really quite a sucker punch for us all. Michael I believe set about his first appearance at Macau in the right way, learn the place and go quicker bit by bit, and that was evident right through the weeks practice. I think that Michael could have been further up the field during practice had he been on his usual Dunlop Tyres, but with this race all riders have to use Pirelli. As Michael said, you cannot allow for these types of things to happen, they happen to the best in the world…its just one of those things, but I am still very proud of the way he approached what is a difficult and dangerous circuit”.

Have a look at this video

Cummins takes superb second at Macau GP
Conor Cummins completed his excellent 2009 road racing season on Saturday when he finished a close second in the Macau Grand Prix. Riding the PBM Kawasaki World Superbike machine, Conor closed rapidly on long time race leader Stuart Easton in the second half of the race and took the lead on the penultimate lap. However, Easton fought back and with backmarkers coming in to play on the final lap, Conor had to settle for second, an agonising 0.381s behind at the end of 15 hard fought laps.

With unusually cool conditions affecting the Far East venue throughout, practice and qualifying wasn’t easy for the competitors as they were faced with air and track temperatures of just 11 and 12 degress respectively. Seventh in free practice, Conor moved up to fourth after the opening qualifying session as Easton lapped over half a second inside the class lap record to hold a 1.6s advantage. However, in Friday’s second and final qualifying session, Conor showed that he would be the Scot’s main rival and a lap of 2m26.313s moved him up to second on the grid and just 0.8s adrift of 2008 winner Easton.

In Saturday afternoon’s 15 lap race, Easton set a ferocious pace at the head of the field but, after a slightly sluggish start, Conor was up to second at the completion of the first lap. By lap 6, Easton’s advantage was over six seconds and the race looked over but Conor had other ideas and as the race moved in to its second half, the gap began to come down. By lap 10, Conor was only 3 seconds adrift and, lapping almost a second quicker than his rival, he was right on Easton’s back wheel going in to the penultimate lap. Without hesitation, Conor hit the front at Fisherman’s Bend and with just one lap to go, he was within touching distance of winning the Macau Grand Prix. Easton fought back though and slipped up the inside at the Lisboa Bend, crucially getting a backmarker between himself and Conor. The Ramsey resident eventually found a way through and although he reduced the gap to Easton for the remainder of the lap, he ultimately ran out of time and took second place, just 0.381s behind. Nevertheless, it was another superb performance by the 23-year and, following on from his success at the Isle of Man TT and Ulster GP earlier this year, he must go into 2010 as one of the main favourites for further honours.

Speaking after the race, a pleased Conor said: “I loved every second of that race! Stuart got a good advantage in the early stages and I thought it was going to be real hard work to reel him in so I just rode at my own pace and used my head. The tyres were going off but I could see the gap coming down and finally caught him with two laps to go. After I passed him I thought I could hold on to it but I made a mistake through turn 2 on the last lap and it was enough for him to draft by. The backmarkers came into play but fair play to Stuart, he rode a good race. Like I say, I thoroughly enjoyed the race and big thanks to Paul Bird for giving me the opportunity to race such a fantastic machine and to all my sponsors especially the Manx Sports Aid Foundation, Solway Slate & Tile, Pokerstars, ELAS, Duke Video and the 4WD and Van Centre.”

Conor now heads in to the winter break and hopes to announce his plans for the 2010 soon.