Peter Hickman has won the Macau Grand Prix on only his second visit to the circuit.
He had a disappointing visit in 2014 when an accident in the first qualifying session meant he was not able to take part in the remainder of the event. His bike was too badly damaged and despite the team and rider’s best efforts, it could not be repaired in time.
Last year’s third place finisher Martin Jessopp qualified on pole position for the 49th edition of the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix. He was joined on the all BMW front row by eight time winner Michael Rutter and Hickman.
Rutter made the best start, taking the early lead before losing out to Jessopp and Hickman before the end of the first lap. Behind the leading trio Ian Hutchinson crossed the line fourth at the end of the first lap, followed by Gary Johnson, John McGuinness, Conor Cummins, Stuart Easton and Horst Saiger.
Jessopp started to build up a comfortable lead ahead of Hickman as the race progressed. Fighting for the third place spot was close with a train of riders in close succession. By the fifth lap Hickman had closed the gap to just over a second and a half.
Davy Morgan, who had made a good start to the race progressing through the field, retired on the fifth lap after sliding off his bike at the slow speed Melco Hairpin. Easton was another retirement as he pulled into the pits.
Hickman took the lead on lap nine and never looked back. Behind the leading duo the group for third were still close. Johnson and Rutter both passed Hutchinson at the same time, but the latter soon took the podium spot back. With two laps remaining it was still all to play for. McGuinness picked up the pace on the last couple of laps and stole fourth from Johnson with a move around the outside on the final lap.
The advantage for the race winner as he crossed the line was just over six seconds as Jessopp secured second. Rutter took third ahead of McGuinness, Johnson, Hutchinson, Cummins, Saiger, Lee Johnston, and David Johnson.
Outside the top ten Dan Cooper came home in 11th ahead of Jimmy Storrar and Mark Miller. Steve Heneghan was 14th with AJ Venter 15th, Brian McCormack 16th, Sam West 17th and Ivan Lintin 18th. Rounding out the top twenty were Ben Wylie and Andre Pires.