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BMW Motorrad Motorsport

Macau, China, 11/11/2015, BMW Road Race Challenge

Full throttle between crash barriers

Green light for the 49th Macau Grand Prix

The legendary Macau Grand Prix is one of the most famous street races in the world. And there’s not long to go until the next edition: On 21st November, the motorcycle racers will go at full throttle between the crash barriers of the Asian gamblers’ paradise for the 49th time.

Every year in November, the streets of the former Portuguese colony and now Special Administrative Region of China, Macau, are transformed into a racetrack. The “Guia Circuit” is one of the most difficult street circuits in the world. The 6.115-kilometre track leads through Macau’s street canyons, clinging closely to the crash barriers. The demanding track is fast, but with a width ranging between seven and 14 metres, very narrow. On top of this, many of the turns are not visible.

Macau is the only street circuit in the world on which car and motorcycle races are held on the same weekend. The Macau Grand Prix for cars has been held since 1954, with the motorcycle Grand Prix of Macau making its debut in 1967. 32 riders have submitted their entries for this year’s 49th edition of the classic.

Among these, ten BMW riders will take on the Macau challenge on their BMW S 1000 RRs. They will receive on-site support from the BMW Motorrad Motorsport specialists. The Macau Grand Prix is one of the major international road racing events, which is classified for the BMW Combined Road Race Challenge (BMW RRC) and the BMW Motorrad Race Trophy.

Penz13.com with four riders

Four of the RR riders will line up for the Penz13.com team of Rico Penzkofer. The team boss himself is a real Macau expert, and in 2012 he contested – back then on the BMW HP4 – his final race as an active racer on the “Guia Circuit”.

This year, Michael Rutter, Gary Johnson, Hervé Gantner and Dan Kruger will line up on the BMW S 1000 RRs in action for Penz13.com. And Rutter is one of the top favourites to win: He has already won the legendary Macau Grand Prix eight times, finished second five times and third twice.

Johnson has contested the Macau Grand Prix six times to date and finished in the top 5 every time. He got his best result so far in 2013, when he rode onto the podium in third place. Gantner made his Macau debut for Penz13.com in 2013. Back then he was the best newcomer, finishing in 15th place. Kruger lined up in Macau for the first time last year and crossed the finish line in 20th place on his Penz13.com RR.

Old hands and young blood

Martin Jessopp is also one of the riders who have already made it onto the podium in Macau. He finished second at the “Guia Circuit” in both 2011 and 2012, and last year he finished in third place on his Riders Motorcycles BMW S 1000 RR. And he is hoping to be part of the leading pack at the classic once again in 2015.

Lee Johnston has already made international road racing headlines this year. On his BMW S 1000 RR in action for East Coast Construction, the 26-year-old won the North West 200 and celebrated a triple victory at the Ulster Grand Prix. He also claimed his first podium position at the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy, when he finished third in the Superstock race. This makes Johnston a candidate for the podium once again in Macau.

Didier Grams is a true veteran of road racing. Grams has been a permanent fixture in international road racing for many years. He will line up in Macau on an RR in action for the Saiger-Heidger Macau Race Team.

The team Ice Valley by Motorsave Trade will field two RR riders, both of whom already have experience of Macau: David Johnson and Paul Shoesmith, who also acts as the team manager. The squad of BMW riders is completed by Peter Hickman (Briggs Equipment BMW). He made his Macau debut last year, but was unable to contest the race after he fell during qualifying. This year, Hickman already has a win and two other podium positions to his name, which he picked up at the Ulster Grand Prix.