Mathison ready for tricky Macau debut
STOCKTON roads ace Daley Mathison touched down in the Far East yesterday ahead of his first ever shot at the Macau GP.
Mathison is one of 10 newcomers chosen to line-up for this year’s infamous event and will join Hexham’s Dominic Herbertson and Saltburn’s Davey Todd as rookies when the flag drops next Saturday morning.
“I can’t wait, this is something that I can tick off the bucket list – I’ve wanted to do Macau for years,” he told Burning Rubber just hours before flying out on Friday.
“This is the only big international roads event I’ve not been a part of before so I’m itching to get out there and see it for myself.”
The race is held as part of the major Macau Grand Prix festival which features both bikes and cars and is held at the 3.8 Guia Circuit.
Located slap bang in the centre of Macau, it’s a street circuit like no other thanks to its combination of concrete walls, Armco and a track which at its narrowest is just seven metres wide.
Renowned as one of the toughest race tracks in the world, second only to the Isle of Man’s mighty Mountain Course, riders generally take a couple of years to learn it properly.
That is why Mathison is going in with open eyes and plans to take it at a steady pace.
“Tracks like Macau or the TT aren’t there to be messed about with; you don’t go in there like a hero expecting to win,” he explained. “You need to handle them with care and respect. I’ve been preparing for it like you would for anywhere, watching onboards and training hard.
“There’s great onboard footage of Peter Hickman on the BMW which I think everyone is watching this year, so we’ll all be following him I think.
“To be honest, I think the biggest issue I’m facing is the humidity. I’ve done as much as I can to get ready for it – steam rooms, saunas even the sunbed and that’s all you can do. I’ll not know how bad it is until I get there.”
Mathison is making his Macau debut aboard a Wepol Racing by Penz13 BMW and admits that he has a lot to learn this week ahead of next weekend’s race.
“One of the good things about Macau is the amount of track time you get, and this is going to be really valuable to me. I need to learn the track at my own pace and it’s great to not be too rushed.
“I’m not putting any pressure on myself. Of course there is always going to be a bit of ‘ oh who’s going to be fastest newcomer’ but you can’t think about that. It’s more important to learn the track and focus on my own race.
“I feel really privileged to be lining up this year. I’ve wanted to for years and have been on the reserve list a few times and now it’s finally happening.
“I can’t wait.”