Simon Andrews in at the deep end at Macau

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British Superbike star Simon Andrews admitted that his first taste of real road racing at today’s Macau GP practice had been a somewhat daunting experience.

“F*** me, this place is scary,” were the 25-year olds first words after the opening practice session.

“So much of the course looks the same so I’m opening the throttle when I shouldn’t be and vice versa and I have so much to learn it’s unreal.

“You can’t really see where you’re going and you can’t see through the corners and it’s hard to tell yourself to get close to the Armco barrier to give yourself the best line.”

“It’s all about track knowledge and like John McGuinness said to me the other day, it’s all about getting through to Saturday night and having a beer afterwards, the result isn’t important.

“Having said that, you obviously want to do well and it’s not easy seeing a pitboard saying ‘P25’ when you’re used to seeing ‘P3’ or ‘P5’.”

“It’s so easy to make a big mistake here as I found out in this morning’s first session.

“I was looking for my pitboard when I should have been simply concentrating on where I was going and I went in to the first corner about 50-60mph too quick which really shook me up.”

Andrews, like a number of other British racers, also competed at the recent Kings of Wanneroo event in Australia and whilst he was able to run at the front there, he’s had to accept that he can’t do that at Macau and has to play second fiddle to riders he’d normally beat comfortably in the British Championship.

“As a short circuit racer, you want to do well but I have to keep telling myself that a lower position is the best I can hope for and it’s going to be 2-3 years before I know my way around this circuit, if that’s what I decide I want to do.

“At Wanneroo, I could attack hard and do well whereas Conor (Cummins) was relaxing and saving himself for Macau.

“Now we’re here, the roles are reversed – he’s pushing hard at the front going well and I’ll have to settle for whatever result I get.”

Andrews placed 28th in Thursday’s free practice session with a time of 2m48.647s, some 17 seconds adrift of team-mate and six times winner Michael Rutter, but improved massively in the afternoon’s opening qualifying session to place 19th with a time of 2m35.336s, the second fastest newcomer.

Phil Wain

By Phil Wain