Falkirk's Keith Amor wrapped up his highly successful season on Saturday with a superb victory in the 600cc class of the Macau Grand Prix. Riding the AIM Racing R6 Yamaha, the Scottish ace fought his way through the pack after being delayed on the opening lap by a crash and eventually took the win by a convincing 25 seconds to claim his first ever International race win.
Opening qualifying on Thursday afternoon saw Keith slot into 2nd place in the 600cc division, and 18th overall, just over a second behind the pace setting German rider Rico Penkofer. However, with cooler conditions in Friday morning's session, which got underway briskly at 7.30am, almost all of the field went considerably quicker. Sure enough, Keith took over 2 seconds off his time and a best lap of 2m31.969s around the 3.8-mile Guia circuit saw him top the class although it was very close with Penzkofer just 0.081s behind.
Unfortunately, the much anticipated dice between the two Yamahas ended on the opening lap of the 15-lap race, held in sweltering conditions, when Penzkofer and Dan Linfoot, third in qualifying, crashed out at Lisboa Corner and Keith got held up considerably in the ensuing melee. Having dropped close to the back of the field, he re-grouped and gradually began to claw back the advantage of new rivals Gerard Muteau and Joao Fernandes. With a series of fastest laps, Keith soon overhauled his fellow 600cc competitors, promptly disappearing into the distance for an excellent win and he was also able to claim an equally excellent 11th place overall.
Speaking later after a well earned drink, Keith commented:
"I had a feeling it was going to be a bit tricky going in to the first corner so I hung back a wee bit to stay out of trouble and, although I got held up by the crash, it paid dividends. I think I was 4th from last by the time I got going again and my first pit board said 'P3 -8' so I knew I had to get my head down. I knew Dan had gone down but not Rico but I started to see bikes in front of me and was able to reel them in and once I'd got the lead of the class I was able to pull away. I'd asked the lads to just show me where I was lying in the 600cc race and and it was a nice feeling seeing my board saying '+10, +14, +18'"
"It was a shame Rico and Dan went out so early but that's racing I guess. It was a hard race with the heat being so high but the bike was an absolute missile and the team worked so hard, giving me a great bike. I'd over-revved the engine in practice so I had to make a few changes to the settings on the bike but it all worked perfectly and I really enjoyed myself this week. I've got to say a big thank you to Alastair Flanagan for giving me the opportunity this week and to everyone at AIM Racing and Dunlop for all their support."
Picture by Stephen Davison - Pacemaker Press International