Michael Rutter made history again in Macau with a masterclass display which gave the 40-year-old a record-setting eighth victory on the 6.2km Guia circuit against a strong field of more than 20 riders.
The win meant Rutter's domination of the weekend was almost total, his name on top of every time-sheet bar one ending with a late afternoon victory which had never seemed to be in doubt since he rode out to first practice at 7.30am on Thursday morning on his SMT Honda.
His race was hallmarked by a fast start that never really saw him challenged until half-distance, when Martin Jessop recovered from a poor start to fight his way back to second spot, going from fourth to second in a single lap.
But Rutter was already too far ahead to catch, and though Jessop used the power of the Riders' Motorcycles Ducati to full advantage on the long fast straights from the Melco Hairpin to Lisboa, Rutter's mastery of the technical and challenging middle sector of the circuit won back more than he'd given away on the high-speed runs and he eased away from Jessop on every lap until the last, when he cruised home to an effortless win.
Simon Andrews claimed a strong third after some very racy laps early on, his best result in four visits to the Macau Grand Prix, provoking exuberant celebrations in pitlane from the Ice Valley BMW team.
Said Rutter after his lucky eighth victory: “The team gave me a brilliant bike. The crowds have been fantastic. I enjoy coming here and hope it will keep continuing.”
Rutter’s team, SMT Racing which also entered John McGuinness, were the first winners of the new Team’s Award.