With quarantine measures relaxed, famous faces a plenty are ready to participate again around the illustrious Guia Circuit, which has hosted motorcycle racing since 1967.
First won by Hiroshi Hasegawa, it’s an absolute must on any international road racer’s CV.
The bulk of last year’s top ten finishers are returning including reigning Champion, the first non-British winner since Andreas Hofmann in 1997, King of Imatra Erno Kostamo (Zero Up Racing Team by Penz 13).
Runner-up in 2022, Horice lap record holder David Datzer (MTP Racing by Zero Up Penz 13) is confident of another strong showing as are fourth, fifth last year reigning IRRC Superbike Champion Lukas Maurer and ‘130 Mph Club’ TT member, Rob Hodson (SMT Racing).
Austria’s Julian Trummer (WH Racing Powered by Dynobike), Paul ‘Potchy’ Williams, Bob Smith Spring Cup winner Joey Thompson (Seventy-Four Racing Ltd) all return as does Nadieh Schoots astride the Basomba Racing Yamaha.
MGM supported FHO Racing, have without question the strongest rider line-up, with Guia Circuit ‘King Pins’ Peter Hickman, Michael Rutter joined by notable event debutant, Josh Brookes.
Three times GP winner, outright TT lap record holder Hickman starts for various roads scene insiders, a stern, strong favourite for honours.
Event wins record holder Rutter though will be giving it his best efforts, in pursuit of making it a perfect ten victories at Asia’s top street race.
Fellow M1000RR BMW jockey Brookes, the quickest Australian racer in TT Races history, stated recently via FHO Racing’s website, about joining Guia Circuit rider ranks.
“The Macau Grand Prix is going to be interesting, obviously I have a career of road racing with results at the Northwest and the Isle of Man TT, but Macau is different from those races, it’s more like a short circuit with walls, as opposed to a public road so to speak.
The real true road racing event is the Isle of Man TT, and the absolute pinnacle of racing extremes you know what you can achieve from a motorcycle is achieved in short circuits, so having never ridden at Macau before that’s where my head’s at.
I see it being more like a short circuit, let’s say a smoother more refined ground to ride on but obviously surrounded by walls.”
“It’s a different mindset to go to the event in, I can’t make too many predictions or have any ideas going forward because I’ve never been to the event, never watched the event or been there before, so I’m pleased to be able to be a part of the Macau Grand Prix.
It’s Faye’s hometown and it means a lot to her, so I’m honoured that she would be happy to put a bike out for me to race.
I’m looking forward to the experience, you know results wise I wouldn’t put any expectations on myself because having never been there before I can’t imagine what it will be like, but I certainly look forward to the challenge.”
Another top calibre M1000RR BMW runner is Southern 100 lap record holder, new TAS Racing signing Davey Todd.
With his new suitors electing not to participate at Macau, Todd’s prime steed is being provided by former employers, BE/RK Racing.
Speaking last month about this topic, the reigning King of The Roads Champion stated:
“I am excited to be re-joining with Burrows Engineering/RK Racing for the Macau GP.
The team who I did my first TT with, in 2018! We’ve talked about working together again every year since then I think, and it’s cool that we now get to do it with the support of my TAS Racing team on familiar BMW M1000RR machinery.
It’s a perfect combination so I can’t wait to get out to Macau and get going!”
Brian McCormack (Roadhouse Macau/FHO Racing), Phil Crowe, Sam West (Moto Hub.co.uk), Paul Jordan (Zero Up Racing Team by Penz 13) are also BMW powered whilst likely lead Kawasaki pilots include the Dafabet Racing duo of David Johnson and Dominic Herbertson.
Concluding the 23-racer entry is Timothee Monot, Kamil Holan (Blue Garage) and newcomers Olivier Lupberger (Team Swiss Lupi by Heidger), 2017 Senior Manx Grand Prix winner Michael Evans and Aberdare Park Welsh Open victor Mark Goodings.
Quotes via FHO Racing website.
Quotes courtesy of Burrows Engineering Racing
Photo credit: Mark Corlett
Words by Stevie Rial #dontletfearcontrolyou