Lincolnshire’s Craig Neve is set to be one of the ten newcomers contesting November’s Macau Grand Prix with the 28-year old earning his place on the grid after a string of strong performances at the International road races, particularly the Isle of Man TT.
Neve, a former regular in the British Supersport Championship, will ride his own Superstock-spec BMW S1000RR under the Jemsar Racing banner and is relishing the prospect of tackling the 3.8-mile Guia circuit for the first time.
“I’m really looking forward to my Macau debut and it’s something we’ve wanted for a couple of years now. I thought I might get the nod last year but it didn’t happen so it’s nice that my results on the roads these last two years have been rewarded this time around. Mike Hemsworth from a local company, Jemsar, is right behind me and I can’t wait.”
“I’ve been watching on board laps and looking at the PlayStation game but there’s only so much preparation you can do, as I found out at the Manx GP and then TT – ultimately, it’s when you do your first laps that you start piecing everything together.”
“Peter (Hickman) has helped me a lot at the TT and said he’d do the same for Macau so that’s great to know whilst a number of other riders like John (McGuinness) have also said if there’s anything I need to know, there’ll be there to help.”
Neve first took to the roads in 2015 when he competed at the Manx Grand Prix, immediately stepping up to the TT the following year where he lapped at close to 125mph and won a bronze replica in each of his six races.
Since then he’s improved rapidly and is now knocking firmly on the door of a top ten finish around the Mountain Course, as seen by his 11th and 14th place finishes in this year’s Senior and Superstock races when he also set a new personal best lap of 127.452mph.
With seven top twenty finishes already to his name on the Island, the Immingham rider has also finished in the top 15 at the North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix, the latter on his debut earlier this year, and is ready to break into the top echelons of the road racing fraternity with his Macau debut the next step.
“I’ve made steady progression on the roads since the Manx in 2015 although I’d say I made a bigger jump from 2016 to 2017 than what I did from 2017 to 2018. We had a few little niggling issues which held me back a bit this year, especially at the TT when I lose a couple of nights practice due to some mechanical problems.”
“I thought I’d be in the mix more this year on the 600 but I’m ready to make the next step now and a big thing for me is that from Macau onwards I’ll be back on Metzeler tyres. I’ve got a good team around me for Macau and 2019 with both Derek Huxley and Mark Hanna on board, two people who have got a wealth of experience and two of the best in the paddock, which can only be of benefit to me.”