50th Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix – Peter Hickman Retains Macau GP Crown

50th Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix – Peter Hickman Retains Macau GP Crown

Following earlier rain, conditions for the 50th Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix, where pretty good, as a grid full of world class quality, embarked upon 12 gruelling laps.

Michael Rutter, got the hole shot on the Bathams SMT Racing BMW, just in front of Glenn Irwin with Martin Jessopp and Peter Hickman not far behind.

As lap 1 went on, Rutter broke away slightly at the front, whilst Macau debutant Irwin in second place, was already impressing hugely on the Be Wiser Ducati.

The completion of lap one saw Rutter in the lead, Irwin second, Jessopp third, Hickman fourth, Horst Saiger fifth as Penz 13.com BMW’s Gary Johnson finalised the top six.

Lap two saw the leading group breaking further and further away, as Rutter still in the lead, had a new nearest pursuer in the form of Jessopp, whilst Ian Hutchinson having started tenth on the grid, moved into sixth place.

Onto lap three and the battle out front carried a similar nature, with Rutter, Jessopp, Irwin and Hickman all still closely matched.

Already just three laps in, you could tell this race, had all the making’s of a classic.

Hickman moved into third on lap four, as Jessopp in second place was gradually reeling in race leader Rutter.

during the final race of

Photo by Charles Robertson

Outside of the leading group, Hutchinson had moved into fifth place, Conor Cummins was up to sixth, plus Derek Sheils on the Cookstown BE Racing GSX-R 1000 Suzuki, was impressing in holding a top ten placing.

Positions within the top six remained the same on laps five and six, it was clear though Jessopp still second, was eager to get to the front, Hickman third was step by step moving himself into race winning contention, whilst Irwin fourth, was still very much in contention.

Lap saw would prove an action packed one as Jessopp briefly went into the lead, before Rutter battled his way back to the numero uno spot.

Soon though he had to relinquish his race lead, as Jessopp on lap eight got back in front and this time began to break away from the eight times Macau GP winner.

The only positions within the top six on lap nine, where for fifth and sixth, Cummins moved up to fifth, Saiger slotted into sixth with Hutchinson dropping to seventh.

Jessopp in the lead was looking calm, smooth and confident, but then drama struck early on lap 10 as he encountered a false neutral forcing him to run straight on, this allowed Rutter back into the lead, Hickman into second place and Irwin up to third.

As lap 10 concluded the Bathams SMT Racing BMW’s of Rutter and Hickman, where extremely closely matched, with nothing in it between the world class road racers.

Hickman moved to the front on lap 11 and it proved the final turning point, in this gripping race.

From here the fourth fastest rider in TT history, did everything he had to do, to cross the finish line at the end of lap 12, to retain the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix.

Now a three times international road race winner, he has joined a very select group of riders to have won the Macau GP on more than one occasion.

Bathams SMT Racing team mate Michael Rutter finished second, just over half a second behind as Martin Jessopp wrapped up the top three finishers, with just 0.655 covering the top three.

during the final race of

Photo by Charles Robertson

Glenn Irwin in contention throughout for a podium finish, encountered reliability problems on lap 11, forcing him out contention, this allowed Conor Cummins to finish a more than creditable fourth, in what was potentially his final race on the roads, for Honda Racing.

Horst Saiger was by a long way the leading Kawasaki mounted competitor, as he finished a great fifth in front of four times Macau GP champion, Stuart Easton.

The top ten was completed by John McGuinness, Ian Hutchinson, leading newcomer Derek Sheils and Ulster Grand Prix Super Twins race winner, Dan Cooper.

Added top draw performances included Danny Webb 13th, Sam West 14th, TT Privateers champion Dan Hegarty 16th, Marek Cerveny 17th and Portugal’s Andre Pires 19th.

Prior to this years Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix, Peter Hickman had not competed before on his Bathams SMT Racing S1000RR BMW mount.

Having gelled quickly with his new stead, Hicky was quietly confident before the race of contending for race victory.

during the final race of

Photo by Charles Robertson

Established amongst the world’s most highly regarded pure road racers, it’s fair to say his Macau GP success today, is further proof why many believe in the future, he will carry the title of been the world’s number one roads exponent.

50th Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix – Race Results:

1 Peter Hickman
2 Michael Rutter
3 Martin Jessopp
4 Conor Cummins
5 Horst Saiger
6 Stuart Easton
7 John McGuinness
8 Ian Hutchinson
9 Derek Sheils
10 Dan Cooper
11 Dan Kneen
12 Didier Grams
13 Danny Webb
14 Sam West
15 Mark Miller
16 Dan Hegarty
17 Marek Cerveny
18 AJ Venter
19 Andre Pires
20 Michael Sweeney
21 Brian McCormack
22 Ben Wylie

Words by Stevie Rial

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