Louth’s Peter Hickman on Macau GP podium as motorcycling mourns

Peter Hickman EMN-171120-105205002
Peter Hickman EMN-171120-105205002

Louth road racer Peter Hickman was declared runner-up in a Macau GP overshadowed by the death of fellow rider Daniel Hegarty on Saturday.

The race was stopped after Hegarty’s accident and the Nottingham rider sadly succumbed to his injuries shortly afterwards.

Hickman said: “I was running in a comfortable second place behind Glenn (Irwin) and making inroads into his lead of just over a second.

“I had already reduced the gap to just over half-a-second in that lap and was feeling strong and ready to take the win.

“But to be honest the race pales into insignificance now with the loss of Dan. My thoughts are with his family and friends at this time. I will miss him.”

Hickman, who had won the race over the last two years was seeking a hat-trick and completed his qualifying in a strong second place on the SMT/Bathams by MGM BMW.

As the lights went out he fought his way to the front of the pack as they headed to the first corner, but Irwin was right on his tail and took the advantage a few seconds later.

After being overtaken he was content to sit behind the leader, following him and biding his time with the intention of snatching the lead in the latter stages of the race.

The two leaders had pulled well clear of Hickman’s team-mate and eight-time Macau winner, Michael Rutter, when the red flag caused the race to be stopped at the end of lap six.

It soon became obvious that it was a serious incident and the riders were sent back to the pits.

With the sun going down rapidly there was no time to restart the race and a result was declared at five-laps distance.

The win went to Irwin with Hickman second and Rutter third.

There was a very sombre podium presentation with no celebration and no champagne, just three riders standing on the podium to receive their trophies.

Hickman returns directly to the UK where he will head to Birmingham for the Motorcycle Live show.

He is expected to be on the stage at the Isle of Man TT stand during the week with some of the other TT favourite riders, and will also be making an announcement on his 2018 plans.