TBT: Hickman/Jessopp’s Macau GP Tussle

TBT: Hickman/Jessopp’s Macau GP Tussle

We are turning back time today, as we look back upon Peter Hickman’s first Macau Grand Prix success from 2015.

Early Race Proceedings:

Lap one of the 49th Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix saw Martin Jessopp take early control, closely followed by future World’s fastest road racer Hickman, Gary Johnson, Michael Rutter and 2013 event winner Ian Hutchinson.

As lap one progressed, Jessopp increased his lead over Hickman whilst Rutter held third ahead of Hutchinson and Johnson.

By the end of lap one, Jessopp held a decent advantage over Hickman, Rutter was third but coming under increasing pressure from PBM Kawasaki’s Hutchinson.

Twice TT winner Johnson occupied fifth as Honda Racing’s John McGuinness MBE finalised the top six.

Positions out remained the same on lap two as Jessopp opened up gap of over 1.5 seconds over Hickman.

The battle for third place was a compelling one as Hutchinson moved into third place, Johnson slotted into fourth, 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 led the Penz 13.com BMW challenge.

On laps four and five Riders Motorcycles Jessopp, still held a comfortable lead but BSB front runner Hickman was starting to mount a challenge to the two time Macau GP runner up.

Main highlights of lap six included, Hutchinson jumping back up to third and Stuart Easton bringing the YZF R1M Yamaha into the fray, moving into sixth place.

The Nitty Gritty Race Element:

Onto lap seven and Jessopp’s lead was gradually, gradually coming down, Hickman piloting the superstock spec Briggs Equipment S1000RR BMW, was looking at home around the streets of Macau.

By lap eight the gap out front was down to 0.415 of a second, McGuinness MBE 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, quickest newcomer in TT history Hickman was showing 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 the race lead.

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.

The duel 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.

McGuinness MBE was also in determined mood aboard the Honda Racing Superbike passing Hutchinson for fifth, as he led the challenge to BMW Motorrad mounted riders.

Race Conclusion:

Final lap saw Hickman produce a calm, cool, measured lap as he homed in on a quite stunning Macau GP triumph.

He crossed the line the win the 2015 Macau motorcycle Grand Prix. At the time this was his second of now 23 International road race victories.

Jessopp finished in second place for the third time at Macau, following another highly accomplished display.
Rutter wrapped up the podium finishers, making it an all BMW Motorrad podium.

A daring last lap pass from McGuinness MBE enabled to get the better of Johnson for fourth.

Whilst P6 went to Hutchinson with places seventh, eighth acquired by Conor Cummins and Horst Saiger.

East Coast Racing’s Lee Johnston was ninth with the final place in the top 10 secured by Australia’s speediest TT Races exponent, David Johnson.

Further standout performances included future TT Privateers Champion Dan Cooper (11th), Steve Heneghan (14th) and Brian McCormack (16th).

Leading newcomer was Sam West, who finished a more than creditable seventeenth.

Fingers crossed that next year, we will be back showcasing incredible two wheel competition like the aforementioned around the unrelenting, notorious, iconic Guia Circuit.

Photo credit: Kelvin Wong

Words by Stevie Rial #dontletfearcontrolyou

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