Next year’s main TT contenders will go head-to-head at the prestigious Macau Grand Prix in the early hours of Saturday morning (UK time).
John McGuinness and David Jefferies will both be in the Chinese territory for the race, which is held on a 3.8-mile street circuit on November 17. McGuinness will race Honda’s Formula One-spec FireBlade, while Macau lap record holder and 1999 winner David Jefferies will ride a Formula One Yamaha R1 for the V&M squad.
Unofficial times from the first practice session put McGuinness first with Jefferies second and Gus Scott third fastest. Markus Barth is the fastest non-Brit.
Steve Hislop’s team boss, Paul Bird, will run McGuinness’ works Blade. It was built to compete at this year’s Isle of Man TT but was never raced as the event was cancelled due to the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.
A large number of British riders are making the trip to the island, taking advantage of the warm Asian weather and carnival atmosphere at the event which, uniquely, sees car racing share the bill with the bikes.
Joining the big two in Macau will be TT specialist Jason Griffiths, who partners Jefferies at V&M, while John Reynolds’ BSB winning Red Bull Ducati will be ridden by Roger Bennett. The Scottish veteran has been busy testing the Sauber GP1/WSB effort over the past few months and, with 12 previous Macau visits, is the most experienced rider in the event.
The overseas challenge is most likely to come from American Supersport 750 runner-up Vincent Haskovec and former WSB campaigner Markus Barth.
Last year’s winner, Michael Rutter will not be defending his title. Instead he’s had to stay in the UK and will be attending the NEC Show for Kawasaki.
Full entry list: 2 David JEFFERIES GBR Yamaha R1, 4 John MCGUINNESS GBR Honda FireBlade, 5 Gus SCOTT GBR Honda FireBlade, 6 Markus BARTH GER Suzuki GSX-R1000 , 7 Iain DUFFUS GBR Suzuki GSX-R1000, 8 Roger BENNETT GBR Ducati 996RS , 9 Marco MARTINEZ USA Suzuki GSX-R750 , 10 Dean ASHTON GBR Suzuki GSX-R1000 11 Ian LOUGHER GBR Suzuki GSX-R1000 12 Jason GRIFFITHS GBR Yamaha R1, 14 Adrian ARCHIBALD GBR Honda FireBlade, 15 Nigel DAVIES GBR Suzuki GSX-R750, 17 Brian MORRISON GBR Suzuki GSX-R1000, 18 Marcel KELLENBERGER SUI Kawasaki ZX-7RR, 19 Frank HEIDGER GER Yamaha R1, 20 Alan PATTERSON GBR Honda NSR500V , 21 Callum RAMSAY GBR Suzuki GSX-R1000, 22 Ronnie SMITH GBR Suzuki GSX-R1000, 23 Steve ALLAN GBR Suzuki GSX-R1000, 24 Mark MILLER USA Suzuki GSX-R1000, 25 Pete JENNINGS GBR Suzuki GSX-R1000, 30 SOU Se Hong MAC Yamaha R6, 31 Hendriyansyah ROI Yamaha R6, 32 LAW Hong Ching HKG Yamaha R6, 33 Thomas HINTERREITER AUT Suzuki GSX-R1000, 36 TAI Seng Koo MAS Yamaha R6 ,37 CHIA Tuck Cheong MAS Yamaha R6 ,38 Yusuke TAKEYAMA JPN Yamaha R6, 39 Hiroshi TAKAHASHI JPN Suzuki GSX-R600, 40 Thomas OCHSENREITERGER Suzuki GSX-R750, 42 Benny JERZENBECK GER Suzuki GSX-R1000, 63 VONG Tak King MAC, Suzuki GSX-R750, 66 Jun MAEDA JPN Honda FireBlade, 68 LEE Ching Wah, David HKG Yamaha R6, 69 James DAWSON GBR Honda FireBlade, 77 Ryan FARQUHAR GBR Yamaha R1, 81 HUANG Shi Zhao CHN Yamaha R6, 82 Cameron DONALD AUS Yamaha R6, 91 Denny MASCARENHAS POR Suzuki GSX-R1000, 92 Joao FERNANDES POR Honda CBR600