Ian Hutchinson marked an impressive return to international road racing, taking victory in the Macau Grand Prix. The Englishman topped the rostrum ahead of fellow countrymen, Michael Rutter and Gary Johnson. The trio of TT regulars placed ahead of their fellow compatriot, John McGuinness, who finished fourth.
Hutchinson started from pole position, but the Muir Yamaha pilot fell behind his three rivals in the early going. However, Hutchy soon dispatched Honda TT Legends’ McGuinness and Quattro Plant Motorsports rider Johnson, both of which piloted a CBR1000RR. Hutchison then ran down another Honda for the checkers, SMT Racing’s Rutter, himself an eight-time Macau winner. Once past Rutter, Hutchinson was uncatchable in the shortened race, which was concluded after 11 laps after a bike crashed in the racing line.
A regular TT competitor, Hutchinson’s return to race-winning form comes after a long hiatus due to injury. The Yorkshireman dominated the 2010 Isle of Man TT races, with a record-breaking 5-TT sweep
. But later that year he suffered a debilitating leg fracture during a British Supersport race. Making appearances at subsequent road races, including a podium finish at the 2011 Macau GP, Hutchinson later re-injured his leg in 2012.
Hutchinson started from pole at Macau, but had to pass three rivals to snare the win including his eventual podium-mates Michael Rutter (top left) and Gary Johnson (top right).
“It’s probably one of the most special wins I’ve ever had with what’s gone on in the last few years, but hopefully now I can move on to carrying on back where I left off three years ago,” said Hutchinson via press release after his Macua victory. “I had about 10 plans of what to do whatever situation happened before the race, and I didn’t really have a plan for the one that did happen but I knew that once Michael got past Gary I needed to get past Gary and to go with it. I got past on the same lap and worked away. I’d rather have stayed behind Michael for a few more laps to be honest as the laps just got faster. I took the lead and just put the hammer down for a few laps to see where we were at. Michael came with me and I didn’t really expect to pull away from him massively, and I think he was a little bit unlucky with the backmarkers.”
Rutter’s second-place result marks the 12th podium finish for the English rider at Macau. Said Rutter on his 2013 effort: “It’s definitely one of toughest races [I’ve had] here. I tried as hard as I could. I led for a bit and tried to make a bit of a gap, but wasn’t surprised when he came past. I thought I’d just try and hang on the back of him and he just pulled a massive gap. I thought ‘this is going to be a bit of a fun race’, and I’d get my head down and try and start catching him. I made up a bit of ground but to be fair to Ian, he looked dead smooth. I made a bit and lost a bit and tried as hard as I could.”
The TT-winning Johnson’s third-place finish is his first career podium at the famed Macau street race. McGuinness and James Storrar made the Macua top-five an all-British affair.
American Jeremy Toye was unable to match his former podium pace, finishing the 2013 Macau GP in sixth.
A former Macau podium finisher, American Jeremy Toye piloted a BMW S1000RR to a sixth-place result. Fellow American Mark Miller placed 11th, with Miller’s Splitlath Redmond Racing teammate, Brandon Cretu, finished the race in 20th.
2013 Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix Results:
1. Ian Hutchinson (Milwaukee Yamaha)
2. Michael Rutter (SMT Racing)
3. Gary Johnson (Quattro Plant Motorsports)
4. John McGuinness (Honda TT Legends)
5. James Storrar (DMR Racing)
6. Jeremy Toye (Penz13.com BMW Racing)
7. Martin Jessopp (Riders Motorcycles BMW)
8. Didier Grams (Heidger-Motorsport.de)
9. Lee Johnston (East Coast Racing)
10. Stephen Thompson (T&R Motorsport)
Macau Motorcycle GP Highlights 2013 from Sergio Perez on Vimeo.