Top ten for Amor in Macau
Scotland's Keith Amor completed his 2010 road racing season with a solid top ten finish at the annual Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix held last weekend. Riding the Paul Bird Motorsport WSB Kawasaki, Amor overcome a number of problems to take 10th place on the 3.8-mile circuit held on the streets of the Far East colony.
The week started well for Keith when he posted the fifth fastest time in the opening free practice session and although he dropped back a spot to sixth in the first 45-minute qualifying session, he improved his time by over 4 seconds. The final qualifying session was held the following morning and although Keith improved again, this time by over half a second, he was finding that the harder he pushed the more set-up issues he was encountering, with the front end in particular tucking through the corners. Nevertheless, a time of 2m28.632s was his best ever lap of the circuit and he lined up in ninth place to head the third row of the grid.
Saturday's 15-lap race was only 6 laps old when the red flag came out due to an incident and the re-run saw a shorter distance of just 9 laps. With further changes made to the bike inbetween starts, Keith opted to run a similar set-up to team-mate Stuart Easton but with no time to test the bike, it was straight into the race. Keith battled all the way to the end despite the bike still not handling as he would have like but he enjoyed a good battle with regular road race men Cameron Donald and James McBride and his effort and commitment were rewarded with tenth place at the chequered flag.
Speaking upon his return to the UK, Keith said: "The Macau GP is a very special, and unique, race and although it's not the kind of circuit that suits my style, it's always a privilege to be a part of and I'm pleased to have brought the bike home inside the top ten. I had a few problems in practice, mainly with set-up, which caused me to have a few 'moments' and it's not the sort of place where you want that to be happening! The team worked incredibly hard throughout but I never quite got the bike working to my liking but I never stopped trying and gave it my all."
"Overall, I really enjoyed the experience and am incredibly grateful to Paul Bird for giving me the opportunity. Working with a World Superbike team has been an incredible experience and I'm just sorry that I couldn't have finished higher up the order and delivered the result that I feel I'm capable of. We all did the best we possibly could though, rode around some of the problems and had an enjoyable battle out on the track with a few of the other boys so, like I say, it's been a solid week. Once again, a big thank you to Paul and his team for giving me the chance to ride the Kawasaki and I'm now looking forward to working hard over the winter to be fully prepared for the 2011 season."
Keith now heads to the 'Motorcycle Live' show at the NEC, Birmingham where he'll be carrying out PR dutues for his new HM Plant Honda team.
Picture by Stephen Davison - Pacemaker Press International