Three-time winner Peter Hickman claims provisional pole for 53rd Macau Grand Prix

Peter Hickman claimed provisional pole for Saturday’s Suncity Group Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix with a dominant display on Thursday.

Thursday, 14th November 2019, 9:57 am
Michael Rutter was second quickest in the first qualifying session at the Macau Grand Prix on the MGM by Bathams Honda RC213V-S. Picture: Stephen Davison/Pacemaker.

Hickman, who is seeking his fourth victory in the prestigious race in southern China, posted the fastest lap so far in the afternoon qualifying session.

The MGM by Bathams BMW rider lapped the 3.8-mile Guia course in 2m 25.100s, which put him 1.7 seconds clear of team-mate Michael Rutter on the Honda RC213V-S.

Hickman began the day in the same vein as he led the way in free practice by one second from Rutter.

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Peter Hickman on the MGM by Bathams BMW at the Macau Grand Prix. Picture: Stephen Davison/Pacemaker.

John McGuinness maintained his impressive start to the event as he improved to third position and a provisional front row start on the Tak Chu Group by PBM Ducati V4. The Morecambe man, who is riding the Scott Redding’s British Superbike title-winning bike, was seconds off the pace set by Hickman.

Australian David Johnson also had a fine ride on the second of Paul Bird’s Ducati machines as he went fourth fastest, half-a-second behind team-mate McGuinness.

Top European competitor Horst Saiger was next on his Yamaha R1 while Derek Sheils, riding for Northern Ireland’s Burrows Engineering/RK Racing Suzuki team, was a solid sixth.

Fermanagh’s Lee Johnston, who sat out the event last year, was seventh on the Ashcourt Racing BMW ahead of Davey Todd (MGM by Penz BMW), who is competing at Macau for only the second time.

Derek Sheils was the top Irish rider in sixth place (Burrows Engineering/RK Racing Suzuki). Picture: Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press.

Michael Sweeney (MJR BMW) was 15th in front of Ian Hutchinson, who is back at Macau for the first time since 2016 on the Team Milwaukee with SMT BMW.

Waterford’s Brian McCormack finished the session in 17th on the ON-1 Racing BMW, with Paul Jordan in 18th on the Dafabet Devitt Kawasaki.

Final qualifying takes place on Friday ahead of Saturday’s 12-lpa race, which is scheduled for 07:55 GMT.

Morecambe's John McGuinness claimed a provisional front row start with the third fastest time in opening qualifying at the Macau Grand Prix. Picture: Stephen Davison/Pacemaker.