The Brit, Peter Hickman (BMW M1000RR), dominated the 55th Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix with a lights-to-flag finish on Saturday.
Hickman now has four Macau wins, which adds to the controversial decision of attributing the 2019 win to Michael Rutter with only 1 lap of the race completed.
From pole position, Hickman started well, accompanied by Brit Davey Todd (BMW M1000RR) for the first few laps.
Although riding superbly, Todd never threatened Hickman’s lead.
Hickman controlled the first half of the race then pulled away, taking the checked flag almost 30 seconds ahead of Todd who was sitting comfortably in second place and holding a comfortable lead over German racer David Datzer (BMW M1000RR) in third place, who was also last year’s runner-up.
With Hickman dominating, interest in the race shifted to the following positions where a lot of changes were occurring during the race, mostly because of mechanical issues rather than overtaking.
Debuting in Macau and with a steady race and learning curve over the weekend, fourth-placed Australian Joshua Brookes (BMW M1000RR) suffered technical difficulties along with several racers, including Macau record-holder and nine-time winner Michael Rutter and last year’s winner, the Fin, Erno Kostamo, who did not finish the race.
Robert Hodson (Honda CBR 1000RR-R) took fifth place, the only one of the five top finishers not riding a BMW M1000RR, the motorcycle that dominated the local GP.
“All went to plan,” said Hickman after the race.
“The Dunlop tires were fantastic, and everything worked to perfection. Davey [Todd] was pushing early on which was good for me as once I pulled away from him, I started making mistakes. I had a little talk to myself and by lap ten I was focused again. I’m delighted for Faye Ho and all the team who’ve worked tirelessly to achieve this win.”
If there was a ‘Luckiest Rider of the Weekend Award’ it would be runner-up Todd. The Brit has great qualifications and placed second at the grid to start but, seconds before the lights flashed, he had an issue with the motorcycle, with the engine stopping when the race was about to start.
His bike was quickly pushed into the pit lane, and the race started without him.
Luckily for him, on the first lap and with only half the distance completed, Irish rider Brian McCormack had a strange mishap on the way to Dona Maria Bend and fell off his bike. The bike continued, crashing hard into the wall then sliding onto the track.
The accident startled Dutch rider Nadieh Schoots who was a few spots behind McCormack. She braked but crashed, hitting McCormack’s motorcycle, which was lying on the track.
The incident, occurring a minute into the race, caused an immediate red flag which canceled the start.
The recovery of the riders and motorcycles and the cleaning of the track took a while, giving Todd time to fix his motorcycle issues and join the grid for the restart.The two racers involved in the incident were transported to hospital with McCormack being released almost immediately with a minor ankle injury.
Schoots has been hospitalized for observation due to a fracture of her left foot.
Before the race finished, the Czech rider, Kamil Holan, crashed his Kawasaki ZX10R at the R Bend. The rider was also taken to hospital with a broken arm and leg. None of the riders involved in accidents are suffering from life-threatening injuries.