Paul Bird Motorsport riders Ian Hutchinson and Jimmy Storrar put in solid performances at this morning's Suncity Group Macau Grand Prix to come home in sixth and 12th place respectively.
Former winner Hutchinson was hoping to add to his 2013 success and after qualifying in fourth place, the 11 times TT winner from Bingley in Yorkshire was confident of success aboard the Kawasaki ZX-10R. Meanwhile, Scotsman Storrar, from Perth, was making his debut for the Penrith-based team and qualified in a creditable 11th place.
With humidity high around the 6.12km Circuito Da Guia, Hutchinson got a good start and ran with the leaders for the opening lap before becoming embroiled in a scrap for third place with former winners Michael Rutter and John McGuinness as well as ex PBM team-mate Stuart Easton and Gary Johnson.
As the BMWs of eventual winner Peter Hickman and runner-up Martin Jessopp pulled away at the front, the battle for the final podium place intensified, but Hutchy, who won the Superstock TT earlier this year for Paul Bird's team, couldn't hang on and had to settle for sixth place on the team's Kawasaki swan song.
Storrar rode a solid race throughout on the cusp of the top ten and despite limited riding this year, battled to a determined 12th place at the end of the 12 lap race around the closed roads of the former Portuguese colony on the southern coast of the People's Republic of China near Hong Kong
Paul Bird, Team Owner: "After winning last year, we were hoping for a repeat performance but it wasn't to be. I'm pleased that both riders brought the bikes home safely and whilst the results might not have been what we wanted, we will still have a little celebration I'm sure. That race brings to the end our association with Kawasaki which we have had since 2009 so we now look forward to working with Ducati and our valued sponsors from next season onwards and to try to win back the MCE British Superbike Championship as our main priority.”
Images courtesy of GCS: Ian Hutchinson (9) and Jimmy Storrar (15) in action.