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Hollow Macau GP Win For Irwin as Dan Hegarty loses his life

Hickman and Irwin scrap for Macau GP Victory

51st running of the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix
51st running of the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix

The 51st running of the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix turned into a wheel-to-wheel scrap between pole-sitter Glenn Irwin (TAK CHUN Racing by PBM/Penz13 Ducati) and winner of the previous two events Peter Hickman (SMT/Bathams by MGM Macau BMW).

51st running of the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix
51st running of the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix

The pair of them left the line side by side and Irwin led all the way through the first turn, but Hickman won the drag-race to Lisboa and the braking competition when the two of them arrived there more or less side by side and already pulling ahead of Martin Jessopp (Riders Motorcycles BMW).

51st running of the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix
51st running of the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix

But as they came to the end of the opening lap, Irwin slid the Ducati up the inside of the right-hander to take back a lead he would never lose, though he could not shake off the determined Hickman either, always about a second behind him everywhere they went.

51st running of the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix
51st running of the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix

Before the race got underway, Irwin had climbed off his motorcycle at the end of the warm-up lap and looked into the engine, identifying what he later called a “serious mechanical issue”, which meant he was pretty sure it would not last the full 12 laps.

Glenn Irwin - 27 years old from Carrickfergus in County Antrim
Glenn Irwin – 27 years old from Carrickfergus in County Antrim

He was still leading after six laps, with Rutter slotting into third on the second of the SMT/Bathams by MGM Macau BMW’s but unable to catch Hickman or break free of Jessopp.

Michael Rutter
Michael Rutter

With the scene set for a classic battle, the race was stopped after six laps by red flags following a serious incident at Fishermen’s Bend. Unfortunately the incident had left Dan Hegarty with serious injuries from which he later lost his life while being transported to hospital. (Link)

Daniel Hegarty died overnight from injuries sustained at the Macau Grand Prix.
Daniel Hegarty died overnight from injuries sustained at the Macau Grand Prix.

The result declared in Irwin’s favour with a 1.3 second margin to record the first win for a Northern Ireland rider since Phillip McCallen in 1996.

2017 Macau Grand Prix Results Glenn Irwin - Ducati Peter Hickman - BMW +1.312 Michael Rutter - BMW +8.676
2017 Macau Grand Prix Results
Glenn Irwin – Ducati
Peter Hickman – BMW +1.312
Michael Rutter – BMW +8.676

Glenn Irwin

“I appreciate all the congratulations, but the result is irrelevant, and all our thoughts are with Dan’s team and family at this very sad time. As far as the race is concerned, I had a mechanical technical issue which nearly caused me to pull in on the opening lap, but I adjusted my style and it worked OK. It’s a very sad end to what has been a successful week.”

2017 Macau Grand Prix Results Glenn Irwin - Ducati Peter Hickman - BMW +1.312 Michael Rutter - BMW +8.676
2017 Macau Grand Prix Results
Glenn Irwin – Ducati
Peter Hickman – BMW +1.312
Michael Rutter – BMW +8.676

The result saw 27-year-old Irwin become the first Ulsterman in 21 years to take a win around the Far East track and it was Ducati’s first victory there since 2010. It also added to Irwin’s North West 200 Superbike race victory and maiden BSB win this season and was PBM’s fourth Macau Grand Prix victory.

When the race ended, Conor Cummins (Padgett’s Motorcycles Honda) was in fifth place, ahead of Gary Johnson (Briggs Equipment Kawasaki), Dean Harrison (Silicone Engineering Racing Kawasaki) and Lee Johnston (RST Racing BMW).

Conor Cummins leads Dan Hegarty at the 2017 Macau GP
Conor Cummins leads Dan Hegarty at the 2017 Macau GP

South Australian David Johnson rode a BMW to ninth place ahead of Danny Webb.

South Australian David Johnson rode a BMW to ninth place ahead of Danny Webb.
South Australian David Johnson rode a BMW to ninth place ahead of Danny Webb.

2017 Macau Grand Prix Results

  1. Glenn Irwin – Ducati
  2. Peter Hickman – BMW +1.312
  3. Michael Rutter – BMW +8.676
  4. Martin Jessopp – BMW +11.109
  5. Conor Cummins – Honda +15.888
  6. Gary Johnson – Kawasaki +16.878
  7. Dean Harrison – Kawasaki +19.645
  8. Lee Johnston – BMW +20.029
  9. David Johnson – BMW +20.159
  10. Danny Webb – BMW +27.436
  11. Dan Kneen – BMW +29.268
  12. Ivan Lintin – Kawasaki +30.279
  13. Didier Grams – BMW +30.279
  14. Sam West – BMW +32.776
  15. Daniel Hegarty – Honda +33.881
  16. Marek Cerveny – BMW +34.277
  17. Michael Sweeney – BMW +38.289
  18. Alessandro Polita – BMW +44.072
  19. Allan Jon Venter – Yamaha +44.547
  20. Petr Biciste – BMW +49.378

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