After enduring three years of personal struggles and adversity, Milwaukee Yamaha’s Ian Hutchinson came from behind to take a very special victory in the 47th edition of the Star River—Windsor Arch Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix Saturday in Macau, China.
Hutchinson started from pole position but got off to a relatively slow launch due to the tall first gear in his YZF-R1 Superbike, he said. This resulted in the 34-year-old Englishman being fourth into Lisboa Curve, the first tight turn on the 3.8-mile Guia Street Circuit. But Hutchinson put his head down and worked his way into the lead on lap five, when he passed SMT Honda’s Michael Rutter at the entrance to Fisherman’s Bend.
Hutchinson quickly established a modest lead over Rutter, who fought back and regained some lost ground at times. Then on lap 12, Hutchinson charged through a group of five backmarkers like they weren’t there and emerged with a 7.2-second lead. But Hutchinson’s effort to get through the slower riders ended up being a non-factor because a few seconds later Dean Harrison highsided in the Solitude Esses, bringing out a red flag.
Harrison was seen on video monitors walking away from the incident.
With the 15-lap race having run 75% of its scheduled distance, officials declared the race complete. Results were determined by the lap-11 running order, and Hutchinson had his first Macau GP victory and his first win of any kind after badly breaking his left lower leg in 2010 and suffering through three years of surgeries, rehabilitation and a lot of uncertainty.
Rutter, age 41, finished second, his 14th podium finish in 19 races at Macau.
Third place went to Quattro Plant Racing’s Gary Johnson, a 33-year-old Briton who got a terrific start on his self-built Honda CBR1000RR Superbike. Johnson led the first two laps, but lost first place to Rutter on lap three. Johnson hung on to Rutter for all he was worth, though, and ended up third.
Isle of Man TT hero John McGuinness led into the first bend at the start but began losing ground to the lead trio on the opening lap. McGuinness slipped back into a struggle for fourth with James Storrar, but 41-year-old McGuinness came out on top in the fight and claimed fourth place on his Honda TT Legends CBR1000RR. Storrar, meanwhile, said he was happy with fifth on his Superstock-spec DMR Racing BMW S1000RR.
American Jeremy Toye, riding his Penz13.com BMW Racing Team S1000RR, came out on top of a back-and-forth battle with two-time Macau GP runner-up Martin Jessopp for sixth. Jessopp was leading Toye at the time the red flag came out, but when results were reverted to the lap 11 running order Jessopp was credited with seventh on his Riders Motorcycles BMW S1000RR.
American Mark Miller, riding a Splitlath Redmond Racing EBR 1190RS, started the race in 20th position on the three-rider-wide grid but worked his way up to 11th on the opening lap and stayed there until the red flag came out.
Miller’s teammate Brandon Cretu started the race from the last grid position, 32nd, but fought his way forward with personal best lap times to finish 20th after 11 laps.
Two other riders crashed during the race. Horst Saiger and Marc Fissette tangled going into Lisboa Curve on the opening lap. Both men fell and slide into the outside tire barrier, but both riders were seen on video monitors getting up immediately.
Star River – Windsor Arch Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix 47th Edition Guia Street Circuit Macau, China November 16, 2013 Provisional Race Results:
1. Ian Hutchinson, UK (Yam YZF-R1), Dunlop, 11 laps, 26.56.390, 93.162 mph 2. Michael Rutter, UK (Hon CBR1000RR), Metzeler, -2.418 seconds 3. Gary Johnson, UK (Hon CBR600RR), Metzeler, -8.741 4. John McGuinness, UK (Hon CBR1000RR), Dunlop, -23.018 5. James Storrar, UK (BMW S1000RR), Pirelli, -24.271 6. Jeremy Toye, USA (BMW S1000RR), Pirelli, -26.969 7. Martin Jessopp, UK (BMW S1000RR), Metzeler, -27.209 8. Didier Grams, Germany (BMW S1000RR), Pirelli, -44.791 9. Lee Johnston, UK (Hon CBR1000RR), Dunlop, -50.568 10. Stephen Thompson, UK (Suz GSX-R1000), Dunlop, -52.893 11. Mark Miller, USA (EBR 1190RS), Dunlop, -67.675 12. Dean Harrison, UK (Kaw ZX-10R), Metzeler, -74.854, crash 13. Andre Pires, Portugal (Suz GSX-R1000), Dunlop, -78.101 14. Jamie Hamilton, UK (Hon CBR1000RR), Dunlop, -84.573 15. Herve Gantner, Switzerland (BMW S1000RR), Dunlop, -95.196 16. Ian Lougher, UK (Hon CBR1000RR), Dunlop, -108.289 17. Paul Shoesmith, UK (BMW S1000RR), Dunlop, -118.659 18. Allann-Jon Venter, South Africa (Kaw ZX-10R), Metzeler, -135.557 19. Sandor Bitter, Hungary (Kaw ZX-10R), Metzeler, -159.724 20. Brandon Cretu, USA (EBR 1190RS), Dunlop, -160.969 21. Ben Wylie, UK (BMW S1000RR), Dunlop, -161.065 22. Graham English, UK (BMW S1000RR), Pirelli, -161.304 23. Brian McCormack, Ireland (Hon CBR1000RR), Dunlop, -161.737 24. Nuno Caetano, Portugal (Kaw ZX-10R), Metzeler, -169.814 25. Dan Cooper, UK (BMW S1000RR), Pirelli, -4 laps, DNF, retired 26. Steve Heneghan, Ireland (Kaw ZX-10R), Metzeler, -6 laps, DNF, retired 27. Davy Morgan, UK (Suz GSX-R1000), Dunlop, -7 laps, DNF, retired 28. David Johnson, Austria (Kaw ZX-10R), Pirelli, -8 laps, DNF, retired 29. Roman Stamm, Switzerland (Kaw ZX-10R), Pirelli, -9 laps, DNF 30. Horst Saiger, Austria (Kaw ZX-10R), Metzeler, -11 laps, DNF, crash 31. Marc Fissette, Belgium (Suz GSX-R1000), Pirelli, -11 laps, DNF, crash 32. Dan Kneen, UK (Suz GSX-R1000), Dunlop, DNS
More, from a press release issued by SMT Racing:
Second place for Rutter and SMT Racing at Macau
SMT Racing’s Michael Rutter had to settle for second place in Saturday’s Macau Grand Prix, the eight-times winner taking the runners-up spot for Robin Croft’s team behind comeback man Ian Hutchinson. It was Rutter’s 13th podium around the demanding, Armco-lined course. The duo had proven to be the class acts of the field throughout the week, and, after topping the timesheets during first qualifying, Michael took second on the grid to Hutchinson after Friday’s final qualifying session. It was very close around the 3.8-mile Guia circuit though and his time of 2m25.625s placed him just 0.057s behind Hutchinson and almost two seconds clear of third placed rider John McGuinness. With conditions for Saturday’s 15-lap race perfect, Michael and the SMT Racing Honda made a good start but it was Gary Johnson who grabbed the holeshot and it was he who led into Lisboa Corner. The Honda rider, sixth on the grid, ensured it would be a three-way fight for the win and he continued to lead but a determined Michael grabbed the lead at the start of the third lap. Less than a second separated Michael, Johnson and Hutchinson and with the latter moving up to second soon after, he set about doing the same to Rutter. Michael continued to lead but on the fifth lap, Hutchinson found his way through and promptly opened up a small advantage, a gap which had increased to more than two seconds at half race distance. It was still nip and tuck between the two riders with Michael quicker on some sections and Hutchinson the more rapid on others. With four laps remaining, the gap was still only 1.7s but when they encountered backmarkers, Michael got held up and any chance of victory evaporated there and then. The gap soared to more than seven seconds and on the 13th lap, the race was stopped due a crash involving Dean Harrison and the result declared at the end of 12 laps. It all meant Hutchinson took his first Macau GP win, with Michael 2.418s in arrears and Johnson in third. Speaking afterwards, a philosophical Michael said; “That was definitely one of my toughest rides around here with the heat and the pace of the race. I knew after qualifying that Hutchy was very strong so when Gary took the early lead, I tried as hard as I could to get by him and open up a gap. We were all pretty evenly matched though and I wasn’t surprised when Ian came by. I tried to stay with him but he was able to pull out a gap straightaway and from there on it was very tough!” “I was able to make a bit of time up here and there but lost a bit elsewhere so I kind of knew that’s how the race was going to end. I got held up quite a bit by the backmarkers and had to go down to the first gear and follow them until I could get by but it probably wouldn’t have made a difference. Fair play to Ian though, he’s been through a lot these last few years and he deserved the win. It’s a shame I couldn’t defend the title for SMT Racing this time around but thanks to Robin and the entire team for doing a great job.”
More, from a press release issued by Penz13.com BMW Racing Team
Toye earns 6th at the 47th Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix
Macau. The 2013 47th Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix brought double delight for the Penz13.com BMW Racing Team: US-American rider Jeremy Toye earned a strong sixth place at the race, team mate Herve Gantner classed himself on P15 – out of 32 riders.
Toye took a strong start on board his BMW HP4, made up some spots and increased the pace so the American was more than in the game. He had a race long battle with fellow BMW rider Martin Jessopp who was able to overtake Toye for a couple kilometres, but the American counterattacked and went through. At the end the Penz rider brought home sixth spot. Gantner also took a strong start and mixed himself in the center field of the 32 rider strong grid of the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix. The Swiss rider at his debut in the Chinese gambler city brought home a strong 15th place.
The race had to be red flagged after a crash and only 11 out of 15 laps went to the final classification. The crashed rider was unhurt, but his bike was on the racing line. Brit rider Ian Hutchinson took the victory in the 47th Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix in front of Michael Rutter and Gary Johnson.
Jeremy Toye, P6, +26,969 Sek.: It was a better finish to the start. You come here and it is so quick and the pace is so high, so the setup is crucial. We struggled a bit at the start but once the game was going an we got out there to race and it turns out to mini motorcycles it was so much fun. I was not having so much fun at the beginning of the weekend, but now in the race I really enjoyed it. I love that track and did good times. Sixth is good, but I am not too happy with the position, as the effort from the team was huge to produce a bike that I could ride in the race. That was fun. As a racer – of course – I want to be up front. But from what we started and how things went on in Q2 – now P6 – are you kidding me? I want to come back next year!
Herve Gantner, P15, +1:35,196 Min.: I had a good start – and a bad pace. I ended up 15th but I am not really happy with my pace. It was still the fastest that I had on race tires, but for me, personally, it is not that what I wanted. The bike was really good, I just need to find a setup, that suits me better. Nevertheless, I am happy, all good.
Rico Penzkofer, Teamprincipal: All good! Both riders saw the chequered flag! Herve did not classify as best Newcomer, but I think P15 out of 32 is top. We had quite a hard time with Jeremy at the beginning and changed the bike for every session. For yesterday’s second qualifying we went a bit too far concerning the suspension. We went back and already in warmup it worked better and even better during the race. He took it easy at the beginning to have a look what this BMW HP4 is capable of. Time wise he could well have fought for the 4th place today. So looking at all those facts, P6 is more than ok to us!”
More, from a press release issued by BMW Motorrad:
BMW Motorrad HP RaceSupport: Successful weekend at legendary Macau Grand Prix. Four BMW riders in the top 8 – The supported Penz13.com Team celebrated a strong sixth place for the BMW HP4 in the streets of Macau. Macau/Munich, 16th November 2013. The experts of BMW Motorrad HP RaceSupport were in action in the Far East this weekend: at the famous Motorcycle Grand Prix in the streets of Macau. They were on site to support the BMW teams and riders who tackled the 47th edition of the challenging motorcycle race on the Guia Street Circuit, mainly the Penz13.com BMW Racing Team. The squad of former race Rico Penzkofer (GER) fielded two BMW HP4s, ridden by Jeremy Toye (USA) and Herve Gantner (SUI). It was a successful journey for BMW Motorrad HP RaceSupport and the Penz13.com Team: Toye finished a strong sixth, and Gantner, who contested this race for the first time, came home in 15th. In total, 32 riders took the challenge to race through the narrow streets of Macau. Last year, Macau was the venue of the first ever race outing of the BMW HP4 and the race debut of an electronic damping system. The bike is equipped with the innovative DDC. Back then, it was Penzkofer who was in action on the BMW HP4. He finished his active career afterwards and from then on focused on his role as Team Principal. Over the past year, the BMW HP4 has become a winning bike in national and international championships. At Macau, one of the most challenging races for motorcycles, the competitiveness of the bike was once more confirmed. Already the free practice and the qualifyings went well for the Penz13.com squad, who was supported on site by BMW Motorrad HP RaceSupport. This continued in the race. Toye took a strong start on board his BMW HP4 and gained some positions. Over the course of the race, he was going a fast pace and successfully battled for a top 6 finish. Macau debutant Gantner also had a good start and was fighting in the mid-field. The race had to be red flagged after a crash and only 11 out of 15 laps went to the final classification. The crashed rider was unhurt, but his bike was on the racing line. Toye claimed a strong sixth position, directly behind fellow BMW rider James Storrar (GBR / DMR Racing), who was classified fifth. The positions seven and eight also went to BMW riders: to Martin Jessopp (GBR / Riders Motorcycles BMW) and Didier Grams (GER / Heider-Motorsport.de). Gantner finished his first-ever Macau Grand Prix in 15th. The race was won by Ian Hutchinson (GBR). “Congratulations to our BMW teams and riders for their strong performances at Macau”, said Berthold Hauser, Technical Director BMW Motorrad Motorsport. “Racing in these narrow streets is one of the toughest challenges one can imagine. Not only for the riders, also for the machines. Macau has its own characteristics and is totally different to normal race tracks. Together with the Penz13.com squad, our BMW Motorrad HP RaceSupport experts were working hard over the past days to find the perfect set-up for the BMW HP4s. For the race, we found a setting which allowed Jeremy Toye to do lap times which were as fast as those of the top 4 riders. With his sixth place, he once more showed the potential of the BMW HP4. Also Herve did a good job. It was his debut at Macau, and he not only finished this challenging race but he also did so within the top 15 which really is an achievement. Overall, we can be very satisfied with this weekend. BMW riders finished in fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth, which is a strong result for our brand.”
More, from a press release issued by Phil Wain, publicist for John McGuinness
Fourth place finish at Macau for McGuinness
John McGuinness rounded out his 2013 road racing season at the Macau Grand Prix on Saturday but there was no fairytale ending for the Honda TT Legends rider as he had to settle for fourth place at the end of the demanding 15-lap race.
The Morecambe flyer was looking to add a second win to his 2001 victory around the 3.8-mile Armco-lined course and the week started promisingly with a provisional second place after the opening qualifying session on Thursday. Conditions on Friday morning for the final 45-minute session were slightly cooler and although Ian Hutchinson overhauled both John and Michael Rutter to claim pole position, John’s time of 2m27.447s saw him line up in third and on the front row of the grid.
A strong start saw John slot into third place behind Gary Johnson and Rutter on the long run down to Lisboa Corner but by the end of the lap, he’d been pushed back to fourth by Hutchinson with two seconds covering the quartet. However, the front three soon began to pull away and by lap six, John found himself over ten seconds adrift and coming under extreme pressure from Jimmy Storrar.
Indeed, the Scotsman pushed John back to fifth place soon after and the TT Legend had to call upon all his experience to fight his way back. He did exactly that though and regained fourth on the 11th lap and with the race being stopped early two laps later due to Dean Harrison’s bcrashed ike lying in the middle of the track, that was his end result. Although not quite the finish he wanted, it was another strong performance from John and the result ensured it was his 10th top-four finish since first competing at the Far East venue in 1998.
Speaking later John said: “2001 is a long time ago and I’d have loved nothing more than another win here but I’ve put my heart and soul in and gone round as hard as I could all weekend. I got a great start and slotted into third going into Lisboa but before I knew it, Hutchy had gone by and the front three boys were four seconds down the road. Their pace in the first couple of laps was incredibly strong and try as I might, the gap kept creeping up.”
“When Jimmy overtook, it woke me up a bit and I dug deep again to get by him and although I wasn’t able to make it onto the podium, it was a solid fourth place. The bike’s been good, the team’s been good and we’ve all enjoyed ourselves, I just couldn’t really have done any more. I have to say hats off to Hutchy. He hasn’t been on a bike for a long, long time, so to take the win, pole position and fastest lap in such hot company and on one of the toughest tracks in the world is an unbelievable achievement.”