Despite being clear favourite for honours at this week’s Macau Grand Prix, Peter Hickman is taking nothing for granted and is more than wary of the threat posed by the opposition that includes the likes of team-mate Michael Rutter, John McGuinness and fellow BMW riders Ian Hutchinson and Lee Johnston.
The 32-year old, current outright lap record holder at both the Isle of Man TT and Ulster Grand Prix and sixth overall in this year’s British Superbike Championship, has won three of the last four races at Macau being victorious in 2015, 2016 and 2018.
He was also second in 2017 behind Glenn Irwin and is aiming to make it three wins in a row this week and four in a total, a figure only matched or bettered by Rutter (8 wins), Ron Haslam (6) and Stuart Easton (4).
“I’m really looking forward to the Macau GP again, my fifth in total, and I’ll be using the same BMW that I’ve used all year on both the roads and in BSB,” Hickman told bikesportnews.com.
“I’ll also have all my usual Smiths Racing team with me despite being in the MGM by Bathams colours so the continuity will obviously help as a number of other riders like Hutchy, John and Davo (Johnson) are on different bikes and with different teams to what they’ve ridden with all year.
The BMW’s been getting stronger all year, I’m feeling good and Dunlop have sorted us out again with the tyres so I’m obviously hoping to win; that’s the idea but you can’t predict anything and you don’t really know what’s going to happen until you get out on the track. I’m feeling confident though and it would be great to make it three wins in a row and four in total as not many people have done that.”
As mentioned, there’s considerable strength in depth on the entry list with everyone at full fitness and although, as mentioned, some of the riders will be on relatively unfamiliar machinery, Hickman will be watchful of everyone.
“You never really know what anyone else is going to do but Hutchy, for example, is on a WSB-spec BMW and has won at Macau before whilst John is riding the bike that won the British Championship! Michael is getting quicker all the time on the RCV and Lee is on a 2019 BMW S1000RR so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.”