Macau Grand Prix: Peter Hickman Wins Classic Street Race

Macau Grand Prix: Peter Hickman Wins Classic Street Race

© 2018, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.

Suncity Group Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix

Circuito da Guia

Macau, China

November 17, 2018

Race Results:

1. Peter Hickman, UK (BMW S1000RR), 8 laps, Total Race Time 19:31.386

2. Michael Rutter, UK (Hon RC213V), -0.795 second

3. Martin Jessopp, UK (Duc Panigale R), -7.434 seconds

4. Danny Webb, UK (BMW S1000RR), -8.168

5. Gary Johnson, UK (Kaw ZX-10RR), -9.112

6. Horst Saiger, Austria (Yam YZF-R1), -18.212

7. David Johnson, Australia (BMW S1000RR), -22.739

8. Derek Sheils, Ireland (BMW S1000RR), -27.728

9. Davey Todd, UK (BMW S1000RR), -28.742

10. John McGuinness, UK (Duc Panigale R), -32.564

More, from a press release issued by Macau Grand Prix Committee:

HICKMAN TAKES MACAO TRIPLE CROWN

Peter Hickman (Aspire-Ho by Bathams BMW) took a full set of firsts away from the Suncity Group Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix – 52nd Edition, converting pole into victory and adding fastest lap to his tally for good measure. He set that time on lap 4 after he decided against following early leader Michael Rutter (Aspire-Ho by Bathams Honda RC213V) any longer, and set off in pursuit of victory instead.

Hickman’s decision may well have been prompted by the fact that Danny Webb (MGM by Penz13 BMW) had taken third place from Gary Johnson (Briggs Equipment Kawasaki) and was closing in on the leading duo.

But Webb’s pursuit faded just as Martin Jessopp on the Tak Chun Group by PBM Ducati decided that he’d settled in nicely and wanted to move up on the leading group before they got away completely. But by the time he got past Johnson and Webb the gap to Rutter and Hickman was all but five seconds and it started growing from then on.

The reason was that Rutter had seen Hickman’s rear Dunlop tyres had started to slide and decided he would have another push. But Hickman merely raised his game as well and began to ease away from Rutter to the extent that, when the red flags were shown on lap 8, he was a second clear. After the race, Rutter declared Hickman to be uncatchable.

The result was declared at that point, leaving Webb an excellent fourth, Gary Johnson fifth and Horst Saiger a creditable sixth. Davey Todd (PuraGlobe Syntainics Racing Oil by Penz 3) finished ninth, once again the best result among the newcomers taking part today.

Said Hickman: “On the third lap I thought, I’ll get my head down a bit and see if I can break in just a little bit, get a little bit of a gap and see if I can manage it, which was basically what I did. After half distance, I thought I’ll get my head back down again and did a low 24, which pulled the gap back out again. It’s fantastic for me. For Aspire-Ho and Bathams, a win here is absolutely brilliant.”

For Rutter, it was his 19th podium finish since his Macao debut in 1994: “The bike went off the line absolutely perfectly and I just got in front of Pete into turn 1. I thought, this is not right, it’s not happening! I just got my head down. When he came flying past and I thought I’d stay on the back of him but he pulled so much on me in just one lap, I thought this is just embarrassing this is, I’ll have to get my head down. I started matching him and I felt comfortable. I could see a bit of wear on his rear Dunlop and I thought, that’s not going to last, but he seemed to be keeping the same pace. To be fair to Pete, he was on rails!”

Taking his sixth podium on his tenth visit, victory on the Guia Circuit still eluding him, Jessopp was nonetheless upbeat about this race: “I didn’t really panic about the start though. We were all in one group, and I thought it’s not a problem if you can pick off a few guys. But I’m so new to the bike. I’ve been on the same bike for six years and never won, so why not try something different? I’ve been riding the bike around here for a couple of days with a lot of respect for the bike and for the circuit, and I’ve not tried to rush anything. It was always going to be difficult against the competition I’m sat next to. As crazy as it sounds, I’d love another race tomorrow!”

Hickman’s win was his third in Macau, following on from his victories in 2015 and ‘16.
The red flags came out after British riders Phil Crowe and Ben Wylie were involved in the same incident, without serious injury to either rider. The results were declared after 8 laps.

More, from a press release issued by Paul Bird Motorsport:

Macau GP Podium For Jessopp, Top Ten For McGuinness

This morning’s Sun City Group 52nd Edition Macau Grand Prix proved successful for Paul Bird Motorsport riders Martin Jessopp and John McGuinness with third and tenth place finishes respectively in a race shortened to eight laps due to a red flag.

Making his debut on the factory-supported Be Wiser Tak Chun Group by PBM Ducati Panigale R for the reigning Macau GP champions, 32-year-old Jessopp, from Yeovil in Somerset, started on the front row but dropped to fifth in the early laps.

Jessopp gradually made his way past Gary Johnson and Danny Webb to move up to third by half distance and set about chasing the leading pair of Peter Hickman and Michael Rutter. However, the gap was just too much and when the red flags came out on lap nine of the scheduled 12 lapper, a result was declared with Jessopp in third, leaving him to take his sixth podium around the 3.8-mile Guia street circuit

Meanwhile team-mate John McGuinness returned to the track the for the first time in two years following injury and rode sensibly to claim tenth at the flag. Starting on row three, the 23-times TT winner from Morecambe kept out of trouble and brought the Be Wiser Tak Chun Group by PBM Ducati Panigale R home safely to claim more significant progress since badly breaking his leg in May 2017.

Martin Jessopp: “I didn’t get a good start, but the key was not to panic as you can’t win round here on the first lap. I was happy to sit there but by the time I got up to third, there was too much of a gap. As crazy as it sounds, I’d love another race tomorrow as there is still so much more to come from both me and the bike. The PBM team have been fantastic but I’ve had so much to learn as I didn’t want to push too hard and make a mistake. A few changes now and we could perhaps take it to the two Aspire-Ho Bathams bikes but overall, I’m happy enough with a podium.”

John McGuinness: “Well that’s Macau done! I did my best and gave it all I had. It’s a tough place at the best of times so all things considered, I’m pleased to bring the bike home safely and a top ten is a bonus as there are some good riders out there. Massive thanks to PBM for giving me the opportunity again, I hope I didn’t let anyone down, well done to Peter on the victory and Michael as runner-up, and of course Martin on the PBM Ducati on the podium too.”

John Mowatt, Team Co-Ordinator: “For Martin to get a podium on his very first time with the team is a magnificent achievement all round and we are delighted. It’s been a massive learning curve for him and he’s approached it very professionally, so he deserves this. John did a fantastic job and did as we all wanted, and that was to have a safe ride so a top ten is a bonus and he’s let nobody down. It was a shame that the race was stopped, and we wish the riders involved a speedy recovery.”

For further information, please visit www.pbmuk.net.

More, from a press release issued by BMW Motorrad Motorsport:

BMW road racer Peter Hickman wins the legendary Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix for the third time.

•Win number three for Peter Hickman at the famous “Guia Circuit”.

•52nd staging of the motorcycle race on the narrow streets of Macau.

•Peter Hickman: “It’s fantastic for me and the team”.

Munich. BMW road racer Peter Hickman (GBR) lived up to his billing as favourite on the streets of Macau (CHN). On Saturday, he took victory in the legendary Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix on a BMW S 1000 RR run by the Aspire-Ho by Bathams Racing team. This is the third time that Hickman has taken victory in the motorcycle classic at the famous “Guia Circuit”.

The motorcycle race on the narrow 6.120-kilometre track through the urban canyons of Macau was held for the 52nd time this year. Hickman secured pole position in qualifying, underlining his intent to continue his winning run at the “Guia Circuit”.

Hickman initially lost the lead at the start of the race, but the Brit soon regained his advantage. He led the field on a high-speed pursuit through the narrow streets, until the race was red flagged with just three laps remaining, presenting Hickman with victory. Second place went to his team-mate Michael Rutter (GBR), who was riding a Honda in Macau. Martin Jessopp (GBR / Ducati) finished third.

Danny Webb (GBR / MGM by Penz13) was also in contention for a podium spot on his RR and eventually took fourth place. David Johnson (AUS / PR Racing) was seventh. Derek Sheils (IRL / MGM by Penz13) followed directly behind in eighth while rookie Davey Todd (GBR / PuraGlobe Syntainics Racing Oil by Penz13) finished his first Macau Grand Prix in ninth position.

Victory in Macau is the perfect end to a successful season for Hickman, who won the Superstock race and the prestigious Senior TT at the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy in June. He also claimed race wins and podiums at the North West 200 and the Ulster Grand Prix. Hickman also made it into the British Superbike Championship (BSB) Showdown as one of the top-six riders over the course of the season.

Peter Hickman: “It’s fantastic for me and the team, and to give our sponsors Aspire-Ho a win here is absolutely brilliant. Michael (Rutter) made a much better start than me, which is usual. He’s always good off the line. I was quite happy just to sit there following him. Once I was in the lead I tried to get away a bit. Then I heard Martin (Jessopp) coming closer and after the third lap I got my head down a little bit to see if I can have a little bit of a gap and if I could manage it. This is basically what I did. I managed to win every international road race this year, so that’s pretty spectacular. And I was in the BSB Showdown as well – so it’s been a really good year.”

More, from a press release issued by Smiths Racing:

Hickman Wins Macau GP

Smiths Racing BMW and Peter Hickman joined forces with the Aspire-Ho by Bathams Racing team for their assault on this year’s Macau Grand Prix and it proved to be a winning combination as the 31 year old took victory in Saturday’s race, his third win in four years.

Having taken victories already in 2015 and 2016, Thursday’s opening day had seen the Louth-based rider top the opening qualifying session with a time of 2m25.429s, ahead of team-mate Michael Rutter and while it was the latter who set the initial pace in Friday morning’s second session, Hickman moved ahead halfway through with a lap of 2m25.022s.

Near the end of the 45-minute session though, the timing screens showed he was on a rapid lap with the fastest sector times all the way round the 3.8-mile Guia circuit. Indeed, as he flashed across the line, his lap of 2m23.904s on his BMW S1000RR was not only four tenths of a second quicker than he’d ever gone before but also just 0.288s outside Stuart Easton’s outright lap record which was set back in 2010.

Saturday’s 12-lap race saw Rutter grab an early lead and he held on until the fourth lap when Hickman decided to make his move, mindful of the fact the chasing group of Danny Webb, Martin Jessopp and Gary Johnson were closing in.

As soon as he hit the front, Hickman – aided by the fastest lap of the race – edged clear with his advantage over Rutter at one stage almost one and a half seconds and although the latter reduced the deficit to 0.795s, by lap nine Hickman was again more than a second clear. The red flags then came out after an incident involving Phil Crowe and Ben Wylie, fortunately without serious injury to either rider, and Hickman declared the winner.

Peter Hickman: “As soon as we completed first practice, I was looking forward to the racing as the BMW was working well right from the off with my Smiths Racing crew working hard as always. We quickly found a great set-up and the track was in really good condition, probably the best I’ve seen it since 2015, so I was able to take pole position, which was terrific as I’m not a qualifying rider really, more of a race day man.

“Michael got a great start in the race but I was happy to sit behind him and follow him for a few laps before making my move. I tried to break him and open up a gap but after half distance he started to reel me in so I got my head down again to pull away once more before the red flags came out. Thankfully, the boys are ok and I’m just delighted for Smiths Racing and Aspire-Ho by Bathams racing to have won and with race wins at all the other International road races, it’s wrapped up a brilliant year.”

Rebecca Smith, Team Manager: “We’re over the moon to have won the Macau Grand Prix with both Peter and Aspire-Ho by Bathams Racing and everyone has worked so hard to make it all possible. Peter was the favourite for the race but he still had to go out there and do the business and it was certainly close between the leading five riders in the early stages. Peter made his move when he felt comfortable and victory concludes what’s been a superb season and I can’t thank the entire team enough for all their hard work, commitment and dedication.”

More, from a press release issued by Bathams Racing:

Hickman and Rutter give Aspire-Ho by Bathams Racing perfect 1-2 at Macau

The Aspire-Ho by Bathams Racing team put in a stunning performance at the Macau Grand Prix this week where, after taking a 1-2 in qualifying, they repeated the result in Saturday’s race, Peter Hickman coming home just under a second clear of team-mate Michael Rutter.

It was Bridgnorth’s Rutter who took the early initiative, topping the leaderboard in Thursday morning’s free practice session but Hickman responded in first qualifying later that afternoon to top the leaderboard. Riding his BMW S1000RR, Hickman’s time of 2’25.429s put him 0.949s ahead of Rutter who was riding the Honda RC213V-S for the first time at Macau.

Rutter again set the initial pace during Friday morning’s second and final qualifying session but Hickman moved ahead halfway through with a lap of 2’25.022s. Near the end of the 45-minute session though, he increased his pace further around the 3.8-mile Guia circuit and as he flashed across the line, his lap of 2’23.904s was just 0.288s outside Stuart Easton’s outright lap record which was set back in 2010.

However, Saturday’s race saw Rutter make the perfect start and he led the field around at the end of the first lap, Hickman in second ahead of Gary Johnson. There was little to choose between the leading five riders during the first three laps but on lap four, Hickman moved ahead of Rutter and began to edge clear.

Indeed, the duo pulled away to leave Johnson, Martin Jessopp and Danny Webb to dispute third place and Hickman’s lead at half race distance had gone out to more than a second. Not to be outdone, eight-time winner Rutter reposnded to reduce the deficit to 0.795s by the end of lap eight but Peter dug deep once more to add another four tenths to his lead going into lap ten.

Just as he had done so, the red flags came out after an incident involving Phil Crowe and Ben Wylie, fortunately without serious injury to either rider, and the race was red flagged with the result declared at the end of lap eight. That meant Hickman, winner of the race in 2015 and 2016, made it a hat-trick of wins at the event with Rutter claiming his 19th podium in second to make it the perfect day for the team.

Peter Hickman: “As soon as we completed first practice, I was looking forward to the racing as the BMW was working well right from the off. We quickly found a great set-up and the track was in really good condition, probably the best I’ve seen it since 2015, so I was able to take pole position, which was terrific as I’m not a qualifying rider really, more of a race day man.”

“Michael got a great start in the race but I was happy to sit behind him and follow him for a few laps before making my move. I tried to break him and open up a gap but after half distance he started to reel me in so I got my head down again to pull away once more before the red flags came out. Thankfully, the boys involved are ok and I’m just delighted for Aspire-Ho by Bathams Racing to have won and with Michael in second, it’s been the perfect day.”

Michael Rutter, Team Manager: “It was always going to be difficult coming here with a brand new bike, particularly given the limited track time we had prior to Thursday, and I’ve been on a steep learning curve but the team have worked fantastic. I was pleased to be on the front row although I was a bit disappointed with my own performance as I lost a bit of concentration on my flying laps and felt that I could have been a lot closer to Peter.”

“I got the perfect start to the race though to grab the lead immediately and I got my head down although I knew Peter would be right with me. When he came by, he pulled a huge gap on me in just one lap but I got my head down again to close in and I could see his rear tyre had a bit of wear in it which I hoped might play into my hands. He pulled away again but I really enjoyed the race and having come with the aim of getting two bikes on the podium, I’m delighted we’ve done exactly that and I can’t thank the team and all the sponsors enough.” 

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