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Nov 22, 2010

More From This Past Weekend's Various Races

John McGuinness (4) in action at the Macau GP. Photo by Stephen Davison - Pacemaker Press International, courtesy of John McGuinness.
Mixed fortunes for McGuinness in Macau

Morecambe's John McGuinness was left to rue what might have been at the annual Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix on Saturday when tyre troubles held him back from a potential podium place. Riding the IGT/ Honda, McGuinness had qualified in a brilliant third place, posting his best ever lap of the 3.8-mile Guia circuit, to look a good bet for the rostrum but with the race being stopped and then re-started, the grip advantage he had enjoyed disappeared and he slipped back to 6th at the end of the 9 laps.

The week started in the usual steady fashion for John as he posted the 6th fastest time in the opening free practice session, the motorcycles again being the first competitors to take to the track in the four-day event and thus getting the dustiest and dirtiest track conditions. By the afternoon's first qualifying session, the F3 and Touring Cars had laid more rubber down on the track and John was able to cut his time by almost 5 seconds, a lap of 2m28.691s placing him in 5th. The second qualifying session got underway at 7.30am on Friday with both track and air temperatures hitting 21 degrees C and, as the session wore on, the times tumbled. Indeed, in the closing stages, John posted a superb lap of 2m25.955s to jump up to 3rd fastest overall which was not only good enough for the front row but also his quickest lap in 13 years of competition in the Far East venue.

Saturday's race day dawned warm and dry and as the 15-lap race got underway, John tucked in behind American rider Jeremy Toye and here he stayed for the next few laps. By lap 6, he was ready to make his move but just as he was lining up a pass, the red flag came out due to a crash involving Canadian Chris Peris who, fortunately, wasn't seriously injured. A new rear tyre was fitted to the Honda but the front tyre advantage he had in the first part had now been lost and so John found himself up against it in the shortened, 9-lap race. Starting this time from fourth place on the front row, John was pushed back to 8th as the riders reached the Lisboa Bend for the first time and although he fought his way back up to 6th, he was unable to make the challenge he wanted and had to settle for this position at the chequered flag.

Speaking later, John commented: "It's been another really enjoyable week here in Macau but I'm just disappointed it ended how it did. All week, we've been building up, getting quicker and quicker all the time and after the strong showing in qualifying, I felt really confident coming in to the race. We'd got a good set-up with the bike and had a good race pace and although I slipped back to 4th at the start, I felt strong sitting behind Jeremy. I was ready to make a pass on him and try and reel in the leaders but the red flag came out and that pretty much spelt the end of the race for me. We fitted a new rear tyre but didn't have one for the front and then I didn't get the grip from the rear in the re-run as I would have liked so it made it a real battle. I fought my way back up to sixth, which is still a solid result around what's a really demanding and physical circuit, and it's been great working with the team. A big thank you to Robin Croft of SMT for giving me the opportunity and also to Alec and Warren who gave me great support and who worked really hard throughout."

More, from a press release issued by FTR MOTO:


FTR MOTO and Team Joe Darcey Monlau Competicion's Kev Coghlan finished third in their debut season together in the CEV Buckler Moto2 Spanish Championship after Scotsman Coghlan finished in eighth place in Sunday's final round at the Jerez circuit in south-west Spain.

Coghlan qualified in 12th place in Saturday morning's dry qualifying session and despite being fourth fastest in the afternoon's wet session he was forced to start from 12th place on row four of the grid.

The M210 rider progressed to ninth place after one lap but a lack of dry track time was to eventually leave Coghlan progressing one more place to an eventual eighth at the end of the 17-lap race around the 2.747-mile circuit. The race was won by Grand Prix regular Axel Pons.

"We came to Jerez to try and beat Carmelo Morales to the Championship, he had a good run in qualifying and got pole position so we were up against it," said Coghlan. "Then in the race I was sat looking at Morales in seventh, he was riding a race for the title and I wasn't 100 per cent comfortable so I wasn't going to throw everything away in a silly crash."

The Team Amalgama's Italian rider Federico D'Annunzio finished in 19th place on his FTR machine while Russian youngster Alexey Ivanov crossed the finish line in 25th place on the Team SMP machine.

"We've achieved a lot this year in Spain and, as in the World Championship, we've ended our first full year of competition in third place in both Championships," said FTR's Steve Bones. "Kev Coghlan's wins at Albacete and Aragon earlier in the year were obvious highlights but we've had a good time working with the Monlau Competicion Team and with the Joe Darcey Team guys.

"To win a title in our first year would have been the icing on the cake but I think we've gone a long way towards what we wanted to achieve in 2010 by getting the FTR Moto name out there. We've ended up with plenty of interest from the World and Spanish Championship teams so I'm sure we'll be very well represented in 2011 and hopefully winning titles!"

More, from a press release issued by Harris Performance Products:


Harris Performance is celebrating capturing the manufacturer's title in the ultra-competitive Spanish Moto2 championship. Harris took second and fourth places in the championship with MR Griful Team riders Jordi Torres and Dani Rivas fighting at the front in every round on the British designed and manufactured Harris Moto2 machines.

The final round of the series at Jerez in southern Spain last weekend saw Torres take second place in the race and close the gap to just ten points on series leader and new champion, Carmello Morales. Team mate Dani Rivas also closed the gap to just one point behind third placed Kev Coghlan.

"Of course we are disappointed not to have won the individual title, but both our riders have been right in contention throughout this ultra-competitive series," said Harris Performance director Lester Harris.

"To be seen at the sharp end of the action in such a closely watched series and to win the manufacturer's championship has certainly paid off and we are already in discussion with a number of teams looking to change to our chassis and back-up service in 2011."

Result: CEV Buckler 2010 Spanish Moto2 Championship. Round 7 of 7. Jerez. November 21.
1. Axel Pons - Kalex, 2. Jordi Torres - Harris, 3. Roman Ramos - MIR, 4.Ivan Silvas - Inmotec, 5. Randy Krummenacher - Kalex, 6. Dani Rivas - Harris.

CEV Buckler 2010 Spanish Moto2 Championship. Final Points.
1. Morales 114, 2. Torres 104, 3. Coglan 92, 4.Rivas 91, 5. Ramos 85, 6.Moreno 68.

CEV Buckler Spanish Moto2 Manufacturer's Championship Points: 1. Harris Performance 195, 2. LTR Suter 184, 3. MIR Racing 107, 4. FTR 97, 5. Moriwaki 68, 6. AJR 66.