49th Macau motorcycle Grand Prix saw a close fought start on lap 1, as Martin Jessopp surged into race lead, closely followed by Peter Hickman, with Gary Johnson, Michael Rutter and Ian Hutchinson battling over third position.
As lap one went on Jessopp increased his lead out front over Hickman, whilst Michael Rutter held third place, Ian Hutchinson was fourth, Gary Johnson fifth.
End of lap one would see Martin Jessopp holding a decent advantage over Peter Hickman, Michael Rutter was third but coming under increasing pressure from Ian Hutchinson, Gary Johnson was fifth as John McGuinness finalised the top six.
Positions out remained the same on lap two as Jessopp opened up gap of over 1.5 seconds over Hickman. Battle for third place was a compelling one as Ian Hutchinson moved into third place, Gary Johnson slotted into fourth, Michael Rutter went back to fifth.
Lap three saw positions within the top six remain the same, but Hutchinson was coming under pressure for third from Johnson.
By lap four Johnson was into third, as he lead the Penz 13.com BMW challenge.
On laps four and five Martin Jessopp out front, still held a comfortable lead, but Peter Hickman was starting to mount a challenge to the two time Macau GP runner up.
Main highlights of lap six included, Hutchinson back up to third, Stuart Easton was bringing the YZF R1M Yamaha into the fray, moving into sixth place.
Onto lap seven and Jessopp’s lead was gradually, gradually coming down, Hickman piloting superstock spec Briggs Equipment S1000RR BMW, was looking at home around the streets of Macau.
Photo by Kelvin Wong
By lap eight the gap out front was down to 0.415 of a second, John McGuinness moved back into sixth, as Hutchinson, Johnson and Rutter continued to battle it out for third position.
Despite this been only his second time competing around Macau, Peter Hickman was showing today that he’s an absolute natural at one of the most challenging pure road racing circuits in the world.
Sensing the opportunity for Macau GP victory, he seized his opportunity on lap nine, moving into race lead.
Michael Rutter performed a superb overtake to slot into third on lap 10, passing both Gary Johnson and Ian Hutchinson into Mandarin Corner.
Now in race lead Hickman pulled away on laps 10 and 11 opening up advantage in excess of two seconds on Martin Jessopp in second place.
Battle for third place was getting closer and closer between Penz 13.com BMW team mates Rutter and Johnson, they swapped positions on lap ten, before Rutter broke away on lap 11.
John McGuinness was in determined mood on Honda Racing superbike passing Ian Hutchinson for fifth, as he lead the challenge to BMW Motorrad mounted riders.
Final lap saw Hickman ride a calm, cool, measured lap as he homed in on what would be a quite stunning Macau Grand Prix victory.
He crossed the line the win the 2015 Macau motorcycle Grand Prix. It’s his second international road race victory and no doubt there’s many more to come.
Photo by Kelvin Wong
Martin Jessopp finished in second place for the third time at the Macau Grand Prix, following highly accomplished display on Riders Motorcycles backed S1000RR BMW.
Michael Rutter completed the top podium finishers, as he made it an all BMW Motorrad podium.
John McGuinness performed a fantastic pass on Gary Johnson, to finish in fourth place.
John proved today that the determination, desire, will to win is a million percent still there.
Gary Johnson finished in fifth place, having battled throughout for a podium finish.
Finalising the top six was 11 times TT winner Ian Hutchinson, on the Paul Bird Motorsport ZX10R Kawasaki.
Seventh was Conor Cummins, eighth was Horst Saiger, ninth was East Coast Racing’s Lee Johnston, top ten was completed by Australia’s fastest competitor at TT Races David Johnson.
Further stand out performances included Dan Cooper in 11th, Steve Heneghan in 14th and Brian McCormack in 16th.
Leading newcomer was Sam West who finished a more than creditable 17th, on PR Racing Lloyd & Jones ZX10R Kawasaki.
Photo by Louis Porter
When Peter Hickman made his pure road racing debut at the North West 200 in 2014, it was difficult to say how competitive he would be on the roads.
Now on the 21st of November 2015, he’s without a doubt amongst the best pure road racers in the world.
Embarking on a new challenge next year with GB Moto Racing Kawasaki, he’s tipped by many to seal his first TT victory next year.
In my opinion as long as GB Moto Racing Kawasaki give him the tools for the job, I would say it’s a pretty certain possibility that Hicky will be standing on the top step of the podium at TT Races in 2016.