The 51st running of the Macau Grand Prix got underway today under auspicious conditions, the race organizers finding a narrow window in the rain to let the motorcycles out on the road course.
That would prove to be a fateful move however, as the race would last only six of its twelve laps, with tragedy striking and red flags flying.
A crash in Fisherman’s Bend caused the race’s early conclusion, and in its aftermath we have learned that British rider Daniel Hegarty lost his life in the unfortunate incident.
My journey to Macau for the 50th Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix didn’t get off to the best of starts. I had just boarded my flight from Madrid to London, and discovered my tablet and laptop were missing from my bag.
After a few moments of panic, I came to the conclusion that they must have been stolen. I had spent three hours in the lounge at Madrid – someone must have taken them then.
It then slowly dawned on me what happened. When going through security, I had taken the laptop and tablet out of my bag as normal. After scanning my bag the security guy wanted all my camera gear out of the bag and sent me back.
I have no idea what makes Madrid security different to any other I have ever gone through, but obviously I wasn’t going anywhere if I didn’t do as instructed, so I emptied my gear into several trays and sent it back through.
Once everything was cleared I packed all my gear back into my bag, but left my laptop and tablet behind!
This gallery of photos came with a note from photographer Tony Goldsmith, apologizing that I was just now getting them, and also that they weren’t his usual “Gold Standard” of quality.
It turns out that when Tony left Valencia to go to Macau, his laptop took a different trip at the Madrid airport. This means that Tony wasn’t able to process his shots after the Macau GP ended, and also explains their late arrival to Asphalt & Rubber.
If you ask me, they look pretty damn good…as usual. Tony is a true talent with a camera, if you haven’t noticed already. I’ll let him tell the tale about this year’s Macau in the comment section though, but if the rumors are true, the full story involves a circus seal, a tube of toothpaste, and a pair of galoshes. -JB
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If you had an A&R Pro membership, the photo and headline of this post would be different, so as to avoid race spoilers. Instead, your race results would look like this post.
Peter Hickman on his way to victory. He crashed on his debut at last year’s Macau Grand Prix, and didn’t make the race as the bike sustained too much damage. That makes his victory in this year’s event even more impressive.
The start of the race and Martin Jessop leads the field into the tight Lisboa turn on the opening lap.
Ian Hutchinson leaves pit lane to start Thursday afternoon’s qualifying session. The Macau race was Hutchy’s last appearance on the Kawasaki before he moves to the Tyco BMW squad for the 2016 season.
The 48th annual Macau Grand Prix was underway this past weekend, rounding out the 2014 road racing season, all the way on the other side of the world from the normal Irish and Manx roadways.
As much of a spectacle as its European counterparts, the Macau GP is set in the downtown area of the Special Administrative Region of Macu, and is proper elbow-to-elbow motorcycle racing.
A spectacle to see with the tight corners and dense cityscape, we regrettably didn’t cover the race this year due to a communication error on my part with our correspondent (my pay has been docked accordingly).
To try and at least make up for that error, we have for you the video highlights of the race, which Stuart Easton won quite comfortably, bringing his tally of Macau GP wins up to four now.
Proper road racing is a dangerous game, as the spectacle unfolds upon all of the uncertainty that comes with public roads, rather than the controlled environment of a proper closed-course racing circuit.
The competitors you find at events like the Irish road races, the Isle of Man TT, or the Macau Grand Prix are a unique breed to be doing what they do, where they do it; and if you talk to many of them, the prospect of an untimely ending is something that has already been factored into the cost of what that choose to do.
No one goes looking for an early death, of course, but the realities of the situation are ever-present. Just last year, Luis Carreira lost his life while qualifying at the Macau GP, a reminder of how dangerous the armco-laced Guia race track can be for motorcyclists.
Thankfully the 2013 Macau Grand Prix was without major incident, but we did have a close-call on the first lap between Horst Saiger and Marc Fissette. The event’s photographers captured the contact and subsequent crashes with their cameras, giving us a frame-by-frame perspective into what was thankfully just a bad day at the office for these two riders.
What? You mean the 2013 Macau GP wasn’t on your television, despite the fact you get like a billion channels nowadays? And one flying-lap is simply not enough to ease your motolust?
Don’t worry, if you missed the road racing action this weekend in China’s Special Administrative Region, we’ve got your back. Someone in China has broken the Great Firewall, and uploaded the race to YouTube.
The racing is fierce on this nearly four-mile long circuit, and the fairytale ending is worth the price of admission alone. Enjoy over an hour of racing coverage.