Tag: 2015

Peter Hickman wins Macau Motorcycle GP

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.


William Dunlop confirms 2016 plans

William Dunlop has confirmed his plans for the 2016 road racing season.

Following his split from Tyco BMW, Dunlop will further his partnership with Chris Dowd’s CD/IC Racing for the year ahead. He was a dominant force on the R6 Yamaha in the Supersport class this year, taking nine wins from nine races at the National road races. This included victories at Armoy, Cookstown, and Kells. He was the clear winner of the Irish and Ulster Supersport Championships as well as winning the Superbike class.

In a post on his website Dunlop said that 2015 had been a “difficult year” which featured accidents at the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT which compromised his running. “I had success nationally winning the Irish Championships on the Supersport and Superbike,” Dunlop wrote. “At the International road races there was a combination of bad luck and my own fault with a couple of crashes. One at the North West 200 where I fractured a handful of vertebrae in my back, [and] another a couple of weeks later on the last day of practice at the Isle of Man TT which ended that event for me. I was lucky just to break one rib and now I’m glad to see the winter time to get myself all good again for 2016.”

Dunlop will race in all classes for CD/IC Racing. “We are keeping the R6 built by Marcus [Eschenbacher] and his guys,” the Ballymoney man continued. “Chris has everything in place for them to build us a brand new R1. I can’t say how excited I am to be part of this and to have their involvement with the Superbike along with Graham Irvine for my suspension. If anyone has a chance to make this bike work on the roads it is this team. I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead in 2016 and also to enjoy my racing. I get on with everyone here and it feels like a second family to me.”

The team will reveal plans for the Superstock class  in “due course”.

Dean Harrison signs two year deal with Silicone Engineering Racing

Following the news that he had parted company with Mar-Train ahead of the 2016 road racing season, Dean Harrison has put pen to paper and signed a two year deal with Silicone Engineering Racing.

He will compete at the Isle of Man TT, North West 200, and the Ulster Grand Prix as well as at selected British Superbike rounds.

“We’re absolutely delighted to have Dean come on board and join us for the next two years,” Team Manager Paul Iddon revealed. “It is a massive opportunity for Silicone Engineering Racing to take the step to another level and push the team to new heights. We’re a relatively new team to road racing and with Dean’s success and stature within the sport we can really grow our brand name and achieve big things in the next couple of years.”

Harrison has tasted international victory before, winning the 2014 Lightweight race at the Isle of Man TT with RC Express Racing. He raced for Mar-Train in 2015 and endured a difficult year with the new R1, although enjoyed a number of podiums and wins most notably at the Gold Cup at Oliver’s Mount in Scarborough. “As soon as I met Paul and the rest of the team and saw the set-up from the bike preparation to the calibre of the other riders and their knowledge, I knew it was a great opportunity to join a team on the up,” Harrison revealed. “The flexibility of how the team is run was another plus for me as I can really have an influence on key decisions on the bike, which I believe will take me to greater levels and hopefully bring success to the team.”

The team are still considering their options as to which bikes they will run in 2016. Russ Mountford rode Kawasakis for them this season.

Mar-Train Racing confirm Dean Harrison split

The Mar-Train Racing team has confirmed that they will part company with Dean Harrison ahead of the 2016 season.

A statement posted on the team’s website revealed that team boss Tim Martin had agreed to release Harrison from his contract early, to allow the rider to “take up an alternative offer”. Harrison has been one of the stars on the roads in recent years with wins at the Isle of Man TT, Southern 100, and Cock O’the North to his name, along with many other impressive results.

At the end of last year he parted company with RC Express – a team with which he had had an association with since 2012 – to join Mar-Train full time. The team became the official Yamaha UK road racing team for 2015 and endured a tricky year as they developed the new YZF-R1M. Team boss Tim Martin credited Harrison with the work he has carried out in developing the bike over the course of the 2015 season. “Dean has been instrumental in getting the new R1M to where it is now,” he explained. “[He] has been a pleasure to work with over the past two years. He is a talented young rider and needs to follow his own aspirations, I wish him all the best and would have no hesitation in working with him again in the future.”

The team hope to confirm their plans for next year in the coming week. “Our commitment to Yamaha UK and the YZF-R1M project remains intact,” he concluded. “We made a lot of progress throughout 2015 and are looking forward to reaping the benefits with a successful 2016.”

Ian Hutchinson joins forces with Tyco BMW for 2016 International road racing season

Ian Hutchinson will join Tyco BMW for the 2016 road racing season it has been announced.

The 11 time TT winner – who took three victories at this year’s event – revealed that he had been in talks with the team for a “couple of months”.

“I’ve always been serious about coming to the Tyco BMW team for next year,” he revealed. “I’m really looking forward to getting going now with them in 2016.” Hutchinson made a remarkable recovery following a serious accident in 2010 and has fought his way back to the front of the field. “After pretty much four years away from the sport I now need a bit of consistency. BMW is a huge brand and along with Philip Neill at TAS, they have shown how much they want to be involved with me for next season. That enthusiasm sold it to me and with direct support from BMW Motorrad it was hard to turn them down”.

Team Manager Philip Neill expressed his delight at signing Hutchy. “To sign him up for 2016 is hopefully a big enough statement from BMW Motorrad, TAS Racing and our leading team partners Tyco Security Products, as to our aspirations for next season. We’ve talked about working together previously and it didn’t quite come to fruition, but I think we have joined forces at the best possible time. I believe Ian can add to his International Road Racing success next season on BMW Motorrad machinery with the support of TAS Racing.”

The TAS racing team recently amicably split with rider William Dunlop while Guy Martin’s 2016 plans are still unclear. Prior to the Hutchinson news they confirmed an extension of their key partnerships for next year – including a two year extension to their deal with BMW. Tyco Security Products will also be remaining with the team for a fifth consecutive year.

“Being chosen to represent BMW Motorrad in British championship and on the International Road Racing scene in 2015 was an enjoyable task,” Philip Neill said. “I think our achievements in year one have built a solid foundation and platform for the future, so we are delighted to have our contract as the official team extended into 2016 and 2017.”

Mercedes clinch Constructors Championship in Russia

Mercedes have secured their second Constructors Championship in as many years with Lewis Hamilton winning last weekend’s Russian Grand Prix.

Needing to outscore Ferrari by three points the team were initially denied the opportunity to celebrate following Nico Rosberg’s retirement and Hamilton’s 25 points not enough to beat Ferrari’s 28 for second and fifth place. The overall end result was decided by the stewards, however, when a banzai move by Kimi Raikkonen on Valtteri Bottas resulted in a 30 second post race penalty for the Ferrari driver. He came from a long way back in an attempt to steal the final podium position from his fellow Finn on the last lap, but there was not enough space for both cars. Bottas retired from the race but Raikkonen limped across the line with a damaged car to finish in fifth. He was later demoted to eighth by his penalty meaning Mercedes had outscored Ferrari by enough points.

“That was a day with every possible emotion: a bittersweet day on track, then a tense wait – and finally a confirmation that we have won a second world championship,” Toto Wolff said after the event. “Wow, there are never any simple days in this sport! But what a feeling it is to win a second title and a privilege to be part of this team.”

With just 100 points up for grabs from the last four races, Hamilton could win his third world championship as early as the next round. The next race is the US Grand Prix in Austin and Hamilton needs to outscore Sebastian Vettel by just nine points. Rosberg was unfortunate to retire in Russia due to a throttle issue meaning he is now seven points behind Vettel and in turn 73 behind his team-mate.

From the 15 races in 2015, Mercedes have started on pole for 14 of them – all but Singapore. They have won at 12 races, with Vettel securing victory in Malaysia, Hungary, and Singapore. Hamilton has 13 podiums while Rosberg has 11 while on only three occasions has one of the drivers failed to pick up points.

Lewis Hamilton secures Italian Grand Prix pole position

Nico Rosberg took a new engine prior to the start of qualifying, reverting to his Spa engine while practice pacesetter Lewis Hamilton continued to use Mercedes’ upgraded unit. Both Red Bulls also took engine changes along with the Toro Rossos of Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen and the McLaren duo.


Nico Hulkenberg was impeded on his first flying lap by the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson – an incident which was investigated by the stewards after the session. Lewis Hamilton set the initial pace, going three tenths of a second clear of team-mate Nico Rosberg. Max Verstappen’s Toro Rosso spent most of the session in the garage as the team worked on his car. He only got out with less than a minute left meaning he only had time for sectors and not a flying lap. He lost huge chunks of his bodywork on the track. The Mercedes cars and the Ferraris were the only ones to set their lap-times on the medium compound tyres rather than the softs which were used by the rest of the field.

  1. Lewis Hamilton 1:24.251
  2. Nico Rosberg 1:24.609
  3. Kimi Raikkonen 1:24.662
  4. Sergio Perez 1:24.801
  5. Nico Hulkenberg 1:24.937
  6. Valtteri Bottas 1:24.979
  7. Sebastian Vettel 1:24.989
  8. Felipe Nasr 1:25.121
  9. Marcus Ericsson 1:25.122
  10. Romain Grosjean 1:25.144
  11. Felipe Massa 1:25.184
  12. Carlos Sainz 1:25.410
  13. Pastor Maldonado 1:25.429
  14. Daniel Ricciardo 1:25.633
  15. Daniil Kvyat 1:25.742
  16. Jenson Button 1:26.058
  17. Fernando Alonso 1:26.154
  18. Will Stevens 1:27.731
  19. Roberto Merhi 1:27.912
  20. Max Verstappen No Time Set


Nico Rosberg set the initial fastest lap but was quickly beaten by team-mate Lewis Hamilton by seven tenths of a second. Sebastian Vettel’s first effort was enough to go second before Kimi Raikkonen edged ahead. The gap to the front was reduced to three tenths of a second between Hamilton and the leading Ferrari driver. In the dropzone after the first runs were Felipe Nasr, Romain Grosjean, Carlos Sainz, Daniel Ricciardo, and Daniil Kvyat. Ricciardo did not get out to set a lap-time and will start the race from the back any due to his engine penalties.

  1. Lewis Hamilton 1:23.383
  2. Sebastian Vettel 1:23.577
  3. Kimi Raikkonen 1:23.757
  4. Nico Rosberg 1:23.864
  5. Felipe Massa 1:23.983
  6. Valtteri Bottas 1:24.313
  7. Sergio Perez 1:24.379
  8. Romain Grosjean 1:24.448
  9. Marcus Ericsson 1:24.457
  10. Nico Hulkenberg 1:24.510
  11. Pastor Maldonado 1:24.525
  12. Felipe Nasr 1:24.898
  13. Carlos Sainz 1:25.618
  14. Daniil Kvyat 1:25.796
  15. Daniel Ricciardo No Time Set


Going through to the pole position shoot out were both Mercedes, both Ferraris, both Force Indias, both Williams, a Sauber and a Lotus. Nico Hulkenberg set the first flying lap – a 1:25.317 – which was bettered by Nico Rosberg and then Felipe Massa. Lewis Hamilton took provisional pole by three tenths of a second ahead of the Ferrari duo who were separated by mere thousandths of a second. Hulkenberg crawled back to the pit-lane reporting that he had lost power. The times dropped on the second runs but no-one was quick enough to beat Hamilton’s time. Raikkonen improved to second – just two tenths off the pole time – with Vettel third and Rosberg fourth.

  1. Lewis Hamilton 1:23.397
  2. Kimi Raikkonen 1:23.631
  3. Sebastian Vettel 1:23.685
  4. Nico Rosberg 1:23.703
  5. Felipe Massa 1:23.940
  6. Valtteri Bottas 1:24.127
  7. Sergio Perez 1:24.626
  8. Romain Grosjean 1:25.054
  9. Nico Hulkenberg 1:25.317
  10. Marcus Ericsson 1:26.214