Stuart Easton wins the Macau Grand Prix after a three-year absence
Macau Grand Prix
Finishing order: Stuart Easton, Michael Rutter, Martin Jessop
When Stuart Easton ploughed into the back of MSS Kawasaki teammate Gary Mason during a practice session at the North West 200 in 2011 he suffered injuries that almost cost him his life. But the Scot battled his way back into racing, joining the PBM Kawasaki team for BSB action in 2014. The Hawick man also decided to make his return to Macau, a race that he won three years in a row before his NW crash.
Right from the outset it was clear that the diminutive Scot was not simply in China for a trip down memory lane on the fearsome 3.8 mile Guia circuit. Easton topped the final qualifying session by 0.5 seconds from eight times Macau winner, Michael Rutter. The PBM rider grabbed a lead on his ZX10 Kawasaki that was never threatened during the 12 lap race. At one point he had opened a 17 second gap on Rutter’s Milwaukee Yamaha before easing off to win by 12 seconds.
Rutter faced a much tougher battle, just managing to hold on to second after a massive onslaught from Martin Jessop, Gary Johnson (Quattro Plant Honda) and Lee Johnston (Pirtek Honda) in the closing laps.
But the day belonged to Easton who scored an emotional triumph over the very toughest racing adversity.
“Because there is no run off, no margin for error, here you have to be inch perfect and be very consistent.” he reflected.
“It is a nerve wracking place because of the dangers and because I want to win and that makes it doubly intense. But when you overcome that it feels extra special.”