Peter Hickman, the man of the 2023 Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix delivered a masterclass in this morning’s 12-lap race aboard the BMW M 1000 RR giving Team Principal, Faye Ho and the FHO Racing team its first Macau Grand Prix win in their debut outing at the event.
In Faye’s hometown, throughout all sessions Hicky topped the times and started today’s 12-lap race from pole position. The race got underway at 08:48 local time and it was teammates Peter and Michael Rutter neck and neck in the opening lap, with Michael moving into second place before the race was red flagged.
A full distance restart was announced, and a quick start procedure got underway with the restart at 09:44 (local time). Off the line once again it was Hicky leading the group with Davey Todd hot on his heels and FHO’s Michael third and newcomer Josh Brookes fifth.
At the end of the first lap Michael came into the pits reporting an issue with his brakes. A quick look at the machine by the FHO crew and he went back to the race on the third rotation, but pulled back in still unhappy and was forced to retire from the running.
Meanwhile on track, Peter had pulled a gap between himself and second place Davey, while Josh had moved into third place. As the race progressed Hicky continued to extend his lead and his fourth Macau GP victory was looking inevitable.
On the 12th and final lap of the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix – 55th Edition the front runners started to approach back marker traffic, but this wasn’t an issue for Hicky who glided past aboard his FHO Racing BMW Motorrad machine, to take the chequered flag 27s ahead, to claim his fourth Macau win and a first for Faye and the FHO Racing team.
It was also a good finish for Josh, who on his debut outing at the Guia Circuit impressed by consistently improving his lap times and progressing, despite not having a lot of track time in the schedule. Starting the race from 13th on the grid, the Aussie had a fantastic start and was in the leading group, and by mid-race distance he had moved into third place.
Improving his lap times and looking comfortable aboard his BMW machine, Josh eventually crossed the line fourth in his debut Macau Grand Prix event.
Josh Brookes – 4th:
“I’m really quite happy with fourth, considering it’s my first time here. When we lost some time in qualifying it lowered my expectation on how far I could improve, which I purely think is just circuit time that I need to further improve. In the race it’s a completely different atmosphere, which suits me better, I’m accustomed to racing and not just riding around, so I felt like I improved more in the race. But I think it all comes down to laps and familiarisation with the circuit. I got two good starts and managed to make up places, then some people dropped out of the race, which I would say gave me a few positions. But I held my pace in the race and finished fourth, so I’m happy enough. Of course, it would have been fantastic for the team if I had finished on the podium, but it wasn’t to be. So, you have to be happy with fourth and that we’re going home safe.”
Michael Rutter – DNF:
“Obviously I’m well disappointed to have to retire from the race. We have spent just over a week in Macau and unfortunately, we’ve had a bit of an issue with the brakes. In the first race before it was red flagged, the bike was brilliant, it felt good, and I had a bit of a go at Pete [Hickman] coming into the Lisboa corner and was into second but it got flagged. In the restart I was third, I felt comfortable then I had awful chatter braking for the Hairpin and I knew immediately what was wrong as we’d experienced it in qualifying. With the issue we had to retire, which was really unfortunate for the team. Congratulations to Pete on the win and to Josh for his fourth place in his debut year.”
Peter Hickman – 2023 Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix – 55th Edition winner:
“We’ve had a fantastic result today, we’re at Faye’s home event and it’s her proper home track, you know it’s her City and it’s just fantastic to be first in every single session and winning the race, so I couldn’t really ask for more than that – I’m super happy. The boys have worked absolutely mega, the BMW has been superb to be honest, the track was a little harder, but probably as we’ve had a few years away and it’s a bit bumpier than it used to be, which makes it hard to ride. But honestly the FHO Racing team have got the bike pretty much bang on, nothing is ever perfect but it wasn’t far away and I felt really comfortable. Davey obviously gave us a bit of a push to start with, but we could really keep the pace and he couldn’t, so we managed to break away and disappeared up the road and just managed it from there. Everything was pretty much as good as it could be and I couldn’t have really asked for anything more; P1 in every session and taking my fourth Macau GP win. I’ve seen Brian [McCormack] now, so I know he’s alright after the crash this morning, I hope Nadieh is okay also.”
Faye Ho – Team Principal:
“Well, what can I say! This week all my dreams have come true! Coming back to Macau, my home with my own team, leading every session and then taking the win – it doesn’t get much better than that. Pete has ridden fantastically all week and a huge thanks to the team for all their hard work in making this possible. It was such a shame that Michael experienced the issue he did, as I think without that we could have seen a FHO Racing 1-2 on the podium, but this year it wasn’t meant to be. Josh has really impressed everyone with his attitude to the race and how he’s progressed, I think with a little more track experience he could have pushed for the podium. It’s been an amazing week and I’m so proud of the FHO Racing team – 2023 Macau GP winners!”