HICK­MAN IS THE MAS­TER OF MA­CAU

Fran­tic bat­tle sees BSB star rule on new BMW

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport - By Stephen David­son MCN SPORTS WRITER

‘It was the hardest race of my life. I had to dig re­ally deep’ PETER HICK­MAN

Peter Hick­man won the Ma­cau Grand Prix for the sec­ond year in a row by blow­ing away a star-stud­ded field on his BMW S1000RR.

In the 50th run­ning of the Chi­nese race the Bur­ton-on-trent man kept his best to last, mov­ing into the lead with just two laps to go and tak­ing vic­tory from team-mate Michael Rut­ter and Martin Jes­sopp on the Rid­ers Mo­tor­cy­cles BMW.

Hick­man was de­lighted: “It was one of the hardest races I’ve ever had and I had to dig re­ally deep.”

Run in a steamy 28 de­gree heat, Hick­man, Rut­ter, Jes­sopp and Ma­cau rookie Glenn Ir­win broke clear of the rest of the field with Rut­ter lead­ing from Jes­sopp and Hick­man try­ing to keep Ir­win at bay.

The 26-year-old North­ern Ir­ish­man, who was hav­ing his first big bike ride on the roads on the Be Wiser/pbm Du­cati, was the sen­sa­tion of the meet­ing af­ter qual­i­fy­ing third and match­ing the pace at the front un­til the penul­ti­mate lap when he was forced to re­tire with an elec­tri­cal is­sue.

“This place is men­tal.” Ir­win smiled as he got to grips with the to­tal ab­sence of run-off on the Chi­nese street cir­cuit.

“It has to be the most dan­ger­ous track in the world. But we race to get a buzz and this place gives you one hell of a buzz!”

Veteran Rut­ter used all his 22 years of Ma­cau ex­pe­ri­ence to try to get back in front on the fi­nal lap. He said: “It was a bril­liant race from the start and I pushed hard all the way.”

Start­ing on pole, Martin Jes­sopp had moved into the lead on lap eight, but his chal­lenge was de­stroyed when he hit a false neu­tral at Lis­boa.

“I think I’ve had a third and three sec­onds at Ma­cau so I am gut­ted not to win to­day.” the Yeovil man smiled.

But the race be­longed to Peter Hick­man who ended a strong year af­ter two BSB vic­to­ries with the JG Speed­fit Kawasaki squad and podi­ums at the North West 200 and Ul­ster Grand Prix.

“I should have been on the podium in the Se­nior TT too but the bike let me down.” Hick­man re­called. Still with­out a ride for 2017, there is spec­u­la­tion that he may join an ex­panded Smt/bathams BMW team in BSB.

Conor Cum­mins, (Honda) fin­ished fourth and John Mcguin­ness (Honda) was sixth. Ian Hutchin­son, who lost his elec­tronic aids on his Tyco BMW be­fore the start, strug­gled home sev­enth.

A ju­bi­lant Peter Hick­man gives credit to the team that got him on the top step

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