Macau GP: Irwin claims provisional pole to throw down gauntlet

Glenn Irwin claimed provisional pole on the PBM Ducati during first qualifying at the Macau Grand Prix.
Glenn Irwin claimed provisional pole on the PBM Ducati during first qualifying at the Macau Grand Prix.

Glenn Irwin has claimed provisional pole for the Macau Grand Prix after topping the times in the opening qualifying session.

The Carrick man had set the pace in free practice and Irwin impressed again on the PBM Ducati, lapping within one second of Scotsman Stuart Easton’s record with a time of 2m 24.310s.

Eight-time Macau winner Michael Rutter was second fastest on the SMT Bathams BMW, 1.4 seconds behind Glenn Irwin.

Eight-time Macau winner Michael Rutter was second fastest on the SMT Bathams BMW, 1.4 seconds behind Glenn Irwin.

Michael Rutter was second fastest on the SMT Bathams BMW, 1.4s behind the Ulster rider, with team-mate Peter Hickman moving up to third, a further 0.485s behind.

Manx rider Conor Cummins was fourth on the Padgetts Honda ahead of Martin Jessopp (Riders Motorcycles BMW), who lapped in 2m 27.631s.

Derek Sheils had another fine run on the Cookstown B.E. Racing Suzuki as the Dubliner slotted into sixth place ahead of Horst Saiger, with Aussie David Johnson completing the top eight.

Gary Johnson, riding the Briggs Kawasaki, was ninth while Danny Webb rounded out the top ten ahead of Didier Grams and Fermanagh’s Lee Johnston in 12th.

Dan Kneen, fifth fastest in free practice, dropped to 16th place on the time sheets on the Penz13.com BMW while Dean Harrison was 21st on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki.