The combination to beat in recent years around Macau has been Peter Hickman and BMW’s formidable S1000RR, will this prove the case again next week?
Linking up again with SMT Racing alongside backing from current team Smiths Racing, the six times international road race winner has been for many the leading international road racer of 2017.
Same as last year, competing alongside Macau legend Michael Rutter, multiple astute roads aficionados believe that the battle for race honours will again be between them.
Photo by Jamey Price
Having come close on multiple occasions to lifting the winners trophy, three times event runner up Martin Jessopp it’s fair to say is extremely eager to polish off a maiden Macau GP crown.
Joining fellow anticipated front runners Hickman and Rutter in piloting S1000RR BMW machinery under the Riders Motorcycles banner, the Yeovil based racer only has sights on one number on his pit board at the end of the upcoming 12 lap race, number 1.
Photo by Charles Robertson
12 months on from his scintillating Macau debut, Be Wiser Ducati’s Glenn Irwin is tipped by many to claim the top spot on the rostrum next week.
Winner of the feature Superbike race at the North West 200, he has all the elements covered to be in prime contention for a second international road race victory.
World’s fastest road racer Dean Harrison making a popular return to Macau for the first time since 2013, is another contender for the rostrum.
Enjoying a stellar season with Silicone Engineering Racing, wrapping up in total thus far 23 race wins including Superbike Classic TT success, he’s more than capable of adding a top three finish at Macau to his already extremely impressive roads CV.
Good friend Lee Johnston giving BMW’s exotic HP4 Race steed it’s international roads debut, cannot be discounted from challenging for an elite result, keep an eye as well on TT Privateers champion Horst Saiger.
Added world class quality to the entry is provided by Padgetts Conor Cummins, fellow Manxman Penz 13 BMW’s Dan Kneen, Dan Cooper, new Lee Hardy Racing signing Gary Johnson, Didier Grams, IRRC Superbike championship runner up Marek Cerveny and Cookstown BE Racing’s Derek Sheils.
Add in as well the likes of Michael Sweeney, Danny Webb, PRL Worthington Racing’s Sam West, Portugal’s Andre Pires, roads returnee Steve Heneghan, South Africa’s AJ Venter, Davy Morgan and Top Gun Racing’s Dan Hegarty, your guaranteed fierce top draw battles throughout the 28 rider field.
Looking towards the three newcomers competing, Alex Polita, Petr Biciste and Xavier Denis, they all have the core roads experience allied to oodles of natural ability to make sparkling event debuts.
Photo by Gavin Lawrence
Celebrating 51 years of holding an international roads level motorcycle race, the Macau Grand Prix despite having ups and downs throughout it’s history remains one of the most cherished and coveted races to win for all pure road racers.
Words by Stevie Rial