Mathi­son ready for tricky Macau de­but

Sunday Sun - - Basketball -

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.”

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