Roads: Defending champ Hickman heads Macau entry list
Defending champion Peter Hickman will return to defend his title in the 63rd running of the Macau Grand Prix next month, but it won’t be easy for the recently turned road racer as he faces challenges from a host of former winners.
Eight-time victor and undisputed King of Macau on two wheels, Michael Rutter returns this year with the Bathams SMT BMW squad, which is packing a double punch for 2016 after the signing of four-time winner Stuart Easton.
Ian Hutchinson, winner in 2013, will take on the unforgiving 6.2km Gui street circuit for the Tyco BMW squad while John McGuinness, who was victorious in 2001 and has been on the podium multiple times since – he’ll be riding for his Honda Racing team alongside Conor Cummins.
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Hickman won the Grand Prix for Lee Hardy Racing on BMW machinery last year, but will switch to his Kawasaki steed this time around as GBmoto participate in what is thought will be their last race before taking a hiatus from the sport.
Martin Jessopp, who finished second to Hickman last year after leading most of the race, will again ride his S1000RR.
Gary Johnson will partner Macau rookie Danny Webb in the Penz13.com BMW squad, while British Superbike’s Glenn Irwin will also make his Macau debut for the Be Wiser Ducati team.
First run in 1967, when a mammoth 30-lap Motorcycle Grand Prix was introduced for the 14th running of the Macau Grand Prix, the Guia circuit has seen 27 different riders take victory in the 49 editions of the Grand Prix run so far. 44-year-old Rutter’s eight victories between 1998 and 2012 make him the most successful rider in the history of the event.