Macau Grand Prix: Michael Rutter awarded win in twice red-flagged race

Michael Rutter
Michael Rutter was awarded the win by virtue of leading the re-started race after one completed lap

Michael Rutter has been awarded his ninth Macau Grand Prix win on the basis of a single lap after the race was twice red-flagged and then abandoned.

Peter Hickman was leading when a crash halted the race on lap four, and Rutter led after the first lap of the re-run.

Although Hickman overtook him on lap two, the red flags then came out again following a six-rider pile-up, meaning just one lap was officially completed.

Three riders were taken to hospital but the injuries are not life-threatening.

Republic of Ireland rider Derek Sheils, Dan Kruger and Erno Kostamo were the riders transferred to hospital for further assessment and observation but all three were conscious.

The race was stopped after the track was littered with riders and machines, with another Irish rider Michael Sweeney, Didier Grams and Phil Crowe the other riders involved.

The red flags were displayed in the initial running of the race after Rob Hodson crashed and Marek Cerveny was unable to avoid him. Both riders were reported to be OK but a 30-minute delay ensued because of fuel and water on the circuit.

Hickman had built up a 7.2-second lead over Rutter in the initial running of the race, with Australian David Johnson third on the PBM Ducati, Lee Johnston fourth for Ashcourt Racing BMW, Davey Todd fifth and Horst Saiger sixth.

Rutter leads on re-start

The re-run race was then scheduled for eight laps and Rutter blasted into an early lead, before Hickman passed him on the brakes going into Lisboa on the second lap.

Initially it was thought that the race would be considered null and void because only one lap had been completed but then Rutter was awarded the victory, his first at the event since 2012.

The Midlands rider was on board a Honda RC213V for the second year in succession, while his team-mate, runner-up Hickman, was riding a Smiths Racing-prepared BMW under the MGM by Bathams Racing banner.

Hickman had qualified in pole position and was regarded as a hot favourite to claim a fourth Macau success over the 3.8-mile Guia circuit.

Johnson completed the podium positions and Todd, Northern Irishman Johnston and Ian Hutchinson made up the final top six leaderboard.