Michael Rutter and Peter Hickman Lead 55th Edition of Motorcycle Classic
Nine time champion Michael Rutter’s sternest opposition at the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix – 55th Edition is likely to come from his FHO Racing teammate and three-time Macau winner, Peter Hickman. Although he has had more than his fair share of ill luck in this season’s British Superbike series, the 36-year-old won three races at the Isle of Man TT in June, and set a new outright lap record on the Mountain course. Both Englishmen will be mounted on M1000RR BMWs in the livery of Faye Ho’s squad.
Australian Josh Brookes is the third member of the FHO Racing squad on another BMW. An unknown quantity, the 40-year-old Macao newcomer will bring a vast amount of racing experience to the Guia Circuit from his career as a World and British Superbike racer.
Last year’s Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix winner, Erno Kostamo, and runner-up, David Datzer from Germany return on BMWs, while Yorkshire’s Davey Todd has been re-united with the Burrows Engineering squad to race yet another M1000RR. The 28-year-old has made two previous appearances at Macao with Rico Penzkofer’s team, finishing ninth on his 2018 debut and fourth in 2019.
Manx Grand Prix winners Rob Hodson (Honda) and Michael Evans (Suzuki) plus TT podium finisher, Paul Jordan (Penz BMW), join Dominic Herbertson and Australia’s David Johnson on a pair of Dafabet Kawasakis. Joey Thompson, who enjoyed a top ten finish in last year’s Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix, returns on a R1 Yamaha.
Ireland’s sole representative, Brian McCormack, and Phil Crowe, who made his Macao debut in 2017, will both be BMW mounted. Sam West (BMW), Paul Williams (Suzuki) and Mark Goodings (Kawasaki) complete an entry of 12 British riders in a starting line-up of 23.
Nadieh Schoots of The Netherlands, who last year became the first woman to compete in Macao’s two-wheel headliner, will ride a Basomba Racing Yamaha, while Swiss racers Lukas Maurer and Olivier Lupberger (Kawasaki) , Frenchman Timothee Monot (Yamaha), Austria’s Julian Trummer (Honda) and Czech ace Kamil Holan give the 70th anniversary Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix a truly international flavour.
More, from a press release issued by FHO Racing:
FHO Racing BMW Motorrad announce formidable Macau Grand Prix rider line-up
FHO Racing BMW Motorrad is looking forward to being back on the Roads, where at this year’s Macau Grand Prix the team will have a formidable three rider line-up as it makes its debut appearance at the races, with former Macau GP winners Michael Rutter and Peter Hickman aboard the BMW M 1000 RR, alongside Josh Brookes who will make his debut at the event.
This year’s race is a special homecoming for Team Principal Faye Ho, who after growing up in Macau has a long association with the races having sponsored many teams and riders over the years, but for 2023 Faye returns home with her own Superbike team ready to fight for victory.
Aboard the BMW M 1000 RR and returning to Macau after a three-year hiatus is nine-time winner Michael Rutter. With nine Macau wins to his name Michael is the most successful bike racer ever at the event. He made his debut in 1994, celebrated his first podium in 1996 and took his first win in 1998, with his most recent win in 2019.
A true Macau GP legend, and to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the road race the Macau Government commissioned a lifelike waxwork of Rutter for the Macau Grand Prix Museum, where the sculpture stands next to motorsport wax royalty with Ayrton Senna, Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and more.
After his sensational success at this year’s Isle of Man TT Races, ‘Hicky’ the world’s fastest road racer will be looking forward to getting back to the streets of Macau and hoping to add another victory to his tally. Making his debut in 2014, Peter took his first race win a year later in 2015 and enjoyed further wins in 2016 and 2018, making him one of the few riders to have won the race three times.
Completing the FHO trio and lining up next to his Macau GP expert teammates is Josh Brookes, who makes his long-awaited Macau debut. The former two-time British Champion returned to the roads this year and impressed at the TT Races, where he finished fifth in the Senior TT.
The FHO Racing BMW Motorrad team is making its final preparations for the event, which is set to get underway with the first free practice on Thursday 16 November and the 12-lap Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix – 55th Edition held on Saturday 18 November. Click here for the full 2023 Macau Grand Prix schedule.
“The Macau Grand Prix is going to be interesting, obviously I have a career of road racing with results at the North West 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 really 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.”
“I’m looking forward to going back to Macau, the last time I raced there was in 2019 which turned out to be a short race with just one lap. Heading back this year with FHO Racing is quite a big deal, they’re the biggest team in the UK and after their success at the Isle of Man TT Races, we should be in for some good results. I’m looking forward to being teammates with Josh [Brookes] and Peter [Hickman], I’ve raced against them so much in the past so although it’ll be highly competitive, the three of us will be a strong team.
A huge thanks to Faye and the team for the opportunity, it’ll be great to be back racing at Macau with FHO Racing and with my long-term sponsors Bathams also onboard; it would be great to secure win number ten!”
“I’m super excited to get back to Macau this year, the last time I raced there was in 2019, which was four years ago now, so I’m really looking forward to getting back out there. With the FHO Racing team it’s going to be a special one; it’s Faye’s home event and the first time the team has raced there, so it’s going to be really cool.
It’s great to have Josh making his debut there, it’ll be interesting to see how he gets on with a brand-new circuit such as Macau, but after a few laps he’ll get his head around it. We’ve got a strong three-man team, and it’ll be fun having Michael with us too!”
Faye Ho – Team Principal:
“I’m so excited to get back to Macau and especially now with my own team. I grew up watching the races and that’s where my passion for motorsport started. My dream was to always return one day with my own team and after some success sponsoring teams and riders, this year my dream will come true when FHO Racing makes its debut at the Macau Grand Prix.
We enjoyed fantastic results at the TT Races this year and I think heading to Macau we have a super-strong team with Michael and Peter, who have a wealth of experience and wins between them. For Josh, it’s his first time at the event, so of course there’s no pressure on him, but he’s shown his skill on the roads and I’m excited to see how he gets on.”