Macau GP double for Hickman

Peter Hickman has won the Macau GP for the second time in succession.
Hickman celebrates back-to-back Macau GP wins.Hickman celebrates back-to-back Macau GP wins.
Hickman celebrates back-to-back Macau GP wins.

The Willoughby rider was followed home by his SMT/Bathams BMW teammate Michael Rutter, with Martin Jessopp third.

After his 2016 Kawasaki team withdrew, Hicky secured a ride with the SMT/Bathams BMW for Macau.

And although he never even got to see his new steed until last Thursday, he went out in free practice and quickly familiarised himself with the bike.

Going into qualifying he was still settling into the BMW but was confident he could produce a strong result for the team.

He qualified in seventh place for the start of the 12-lap road race and, although it was not quite where he would have liked to be on the grid, he was determined to be up with the leaders once the race got away.

As the lights went out he got an amazing start and settled into fourth place on the opening lap and, as the race unfolded, stayed in touch with the three leading riders.

The four pulled away from the pursuing pack and it soon became clear that the winner would come from these four riders.

On lap four Hicky made it through to third place after overtaking Glenn Irwin and began to reel in Rutter and Jessopp, who were a couple of seconds ahead.

On lap 11 both he and Rutter took Jessopp, who was leading, and as they headed towards the line for the start of the final lap Hicky made his move and took the lead.

Although he pulled out a small gap he knew it would all be down to who was better on the brakes, but he held his cool and crossed the finish line 0.533s ahead of his teammate, with Jessopp right behind in third place.

Hickman said: “What a hard race that was, I knew we were going to be strong from mid-race onwards but starting seventh on the grid definitely wasn’t ideal.

“I got a good start which is great as every practice start I had done was pretty rubbish, but I did a good one when it counted and got away in fourth so was quite happy.

“I sat behind Glenn for a while and was hoping the leaders would start coming back to me in the middle of the race, but they didn’t come back as far as I expected so I really had to dig in there.

“It was one of the hardest races I have ever taken part in as all three of them kept me honest.”

Hicky will now return home to continue in his quest to secure a ride for next season in the British Superbike championship, and also for the roads.