Louth racer Peter Hickman’s debut at the annual Macau GP ended abruptly when he crashed out of the first qualifying session.
Although unhurt except for a sore ankle, his BMW was not so lucky as the frame was badly damaged in the crash resulting in Hicky having to reluctantly withdraw from the race.
Macau is said to be the most dangerous racecourse in the world, but each year many top riders from the UK make the journey over to contest the motorcycle GP and after his success at the Isle of Man TT, North West 200 and Ulster GP Hicky decided it was high time he joined his fellow racers in Macau.
Riding the Ice Valley Motorsave BMW, Peter was steady away for the first few laps of free practice to learn his way around the course and completed the session in ninth place.
Full of confidence the Lincolnshire ace began first qualifying and over the course of the session he was running between eighth and 11th place. But it all came to an untimely end when he crashed on water that was leaking onto his back tyre sending him feet first into the concrete fencing.
The unfortunate Jamie Hamilton who was following also crashed on the water and his bike was sent hurtling towards Hicky who was climbing over the fencing. The bike missed him by a fraction of an inch, but due to the damage caused to both bikes in the crashes both Hicky and Hamilton were ruled out of the race.
Peter said: “It was my first time in Macau and I was pleased with my practice times.
“All went very smoothly and I ended up in ninth place. As the bike was working well we didn’t make any changes for qualifying except to keep chucking fuel at it.
“I was going quite well apart from having a tyre spin so did the first half for the session with quite a lot of vibration. After putting a new tyre in I immediately found another couple of seconds and was running between eighth and 11th throughout.
“But then the bike encountered a water leak which caused me to crash at the top of San Francisco Hill. I lost the rear end as I turned into the corner and slid into the concrete barrier feet first but thanks to my Daytona boots I just have a sore ankle and nothing more serious.
“Then Jamie Hamilton crashed on the water that came from my bike and now we are both out of the race so I feel very sorry for him.
“The frame was broken in the crash and I have tried unsuccessfully to source another one but there just are not any BMW frames in Hong Kong, China or Taiwan. I even tried Thailand but there was nothing.
“So, that’s my Macau GP over for this year; disappointing but I did gain some experience which will be good for my return next year.”