Macau. Peter Hickman (GBR) dominated the race weekend in Macau (CHN) on his new BMW S 1000 RR – however, the second red flag of the race prevented him from potentially adding another Macau victory to his collection. The 53rd staging of the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix at the famous ‘Guia Circuit’ was red-flagged twice before eventually being abandoned. Hickman was classified second in the final result. Victory went to his MGM by Bathams team-mate Michael Rutter (GBR / Honda).
In the last four years, Hickman has won the iconic Motorcycle Grand Prix on the narrow streets of Macau three time: in 2015, 2016 and 2018. This year, he was making his first appearance in Macau on the new BMW S 1000 RR and was looking good to claim victory number four. Hickman set the fastest time in practice, secured pole position and also set the pace in the warm-up.
When the race got underway on Saturday afternoon (local time), pole-sitter Hickman stormed clear of the field, opening up a lead of seven seconds over second-placed Rutter. However, the race was red-flagged for the first time on lap four. Rutter got away best at the re-start and took the lead ahead of Hickman. Hickman hit back on the second lap after the re-start, passing Rutter to regain the lead. Shortly after that, however, a crash involving several riders caused the race to be red-flagged for the second time.
Race control decided to abandon the race. The running order at the end of the first lap after the re-start was taken as the final result making Rutter, who was leading at that point, the race winner. Hickman was second.
“I’m not surprised by the results. The rules here state that after a second red flag they declare a result regardless of how many laps have been completed and Michael led the opening lap, so he gets the win. Obviously right now all thoughts are with the riders involved in today’s incidents” Hickman said afterwards and added: “The bike was mega! Huge thanks to Bathams Racing and the continued support of Smiths Racing alongside all my incredible sponsors and fans.”
In total, six BMW riders were classified in the top ten in the final result. Davey Todd (GBR / MGM by Penz13) came home fourth, ahead of Lee Johnston (GBR / Ashcourt Racing) in fifth place. Ian Hutchinson (GBR) returned to the RR saddle in Macau, where he was racing for the Milwaukee with SMT team and finished sixth. Gary Johnson (GBR) was eighth on a BMW HP4 run by Ashcourt Racing. Erno Kostamo (FIN / MGM by Penz13) was classified in ninth place.