Macau | Ireland’s Top Hurling Team to support Heneghan’s Panigale V4 debut - Grand Prix

Steve Heneghan will ride the first ever Ducati Panigale V4 in this weekend’s Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix, as the Republic of Ireland rider brings some special support from his motherland, a Kilkenny GAA hurling team

Macau (MNA) – The thirty-six time All Ireland Senior Hurling champions will be for the first time at the Grand Prix supporting their favourite rider who will be doing the international road racing debut of the new Ducati Panigale V4.

Hurling is an outdoor team game of ancient Gaelic and Irish origin, and has been played for over 3,000 years, and is considered to be the world’s fastest gameplay sport.

It shares a number of features with Gaelic football, such as the field and goals, number of players, and much terminology. Hurling is played throughout the world, and is popular among members of the Irish diaspora in North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina. Macau has its own team – the Canton Celts – registered in the Asian County Board.

“Myself and the other members of the Kilkenny senior hurling team were really looking forward to visiting Macau. We’ve heard many great stories of the people and culture of the city”, told Kilkenny goalkeeper Eoin Murphy to MNA.

“Whist visiting, we will be using the opportunity to take in the 2018 Macau Grand Prix, and are particularly excited as we will be supporting #54 Steve Heneghan on Reactive Parts Ducati.”

The Kilkenny GAA delegation includes midfield Conor Fogarty, Joe Lyng, Wally Walsh, Conor O Shea, Darren Brennan, James Maher, Alan Murphy and Richie Hogan.

For Steve Heneghan who is also the boss at Reactive Parts team, it’ll be his seventh time racing at the Macau Grand Prix, last year finishing in 22nd place aboard a Suzuki GSX-R1000.

Heneghan’s experience will be an added value to the performance of the new Ducati, the sole V4 in Macau, alongside two Panigales 1299 of John McGuiness and Martin Jessopp. This year’s Heneghan participation marks not just the first time a Ducati Panigale V4 will compete at the event, but also the first time a Panigale V4 has raced on a street circuit at an internationally sanctioned race meeting.

Ducati has a strong background in the race, starting from the first podium for the Italian company back in 1993, with Irish rider Mark Farmer finishing third onboard the 888 Oxford Ducati, behind Steve Hislop and Robert Dunlop.

The maiden Ducati win in Macau dates 2002 with Michael Rutter on the 998 Renegade.  Last year Northern Irish rider Glenn Irwin won the tragic 5-laps race with the Panigale, finally interrupting BMW supremacy.

The Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix race will take place on Saturday afternoon over 12 laps and is the 21st and final round of the Duke Road Race Rankings Championship for 2018.