66th Macau Grand Prix Special | Co-ordinated by Sérgio Fonseca
For more than half a century, the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix has brought together an international field of the best road racers to compete in one of the world’s most challenging road races. Entry into the “Far East Classic” is by invitation, and riders also compete at other prestigious road races, including the Isle of Man TT, the North West 200, and the Ulster Grand Prix.
Expect another duel between Aspire Ho teammates Michael Rutter, who will ride his exciting Honda Grand Prix spec machine for the second consecutive year at Macau, and last year’s winner, Peter Hickman, who will take on the Guia Circuit in a BMW. It will be a surprise if someone else in the international entry of 27 of the world’s top road racers can mix in on the overall winner battle.
Five to watch:
1. Peter Hickman (BMW): The British rider, who won at every international road race this year, is on top of his game. Hickman rides a Smiths-prepared BMW once again as part of the Aspire-Ho by Bathams Racing Team, which has taken him to victories at both the Isle of Man TT and North West 200 this year.
2. Michael Rutter (Honda): The ‘Two-Wheel King of Macau’ made his road racing debut on the £250,000 Honda RCV213V-S last year, sealing a close runner-up finish behind Hickman. Rutter, who added another TT win to his tally this year, is much more familiar today with the spectacular Grand Prix bike. This year will see him going for his ninth win.
3. John McGuiness (Ducati): Still recovering from an injury, the British veteran had a tough last year’s race, finishing in tenth. The 23-time Isle of Man TT winner will be aboard the very latest factory-backed PBM Ducati V4-R. His first and only win at Macau was in 2001, but McGuinness has been a regular podium finisher here.
4. Ian Hutchinson (BMW): The fourth previous winner to take to the grid is the 2013 winner, who has struggled with injury in recent years. Hutchinson was absent last year, recovering from his latest setback, but will have aspirations of repeating his sensational win as he teams up with Team Milwaukee with SMT Racing aboard a BMW.
5. Gary Johnson (BMW): The 38-year-old from Broughton, UK, who will be riding a BMW of Ashcourt Racing, has seen success over the years at Macau, with a best result of third in 2013 and a couple of fourth and fifth places to boot. Last year’s fifth-place result meant he retained his record of never having finished outside the top six.