46th Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix | Preview
The 2012 Macau Grand Prix, China’s famed motorsports race on closed streets, gets underway Nov. 15-18.
This year marks the 46th time motorcycles will compete at the Macau Grand Prix, though the overall event celebrates its 59th anniversary (automobile racing). The Macau Grand Prix takes for 15 laps over the 3.803-mile Guia Circuit in Macau, and will feature two American riders, both Isle of Man TT competitors – Mark Miller (California) and Brandon Cretu (Pennsylvania).
Following is a statement from Joao Manuel Costa Antunes, coordinator of the Macau Grand Prix Committee. This is the motorcycle-specific part of the statement, which was recorded during the press conference ahead of this year’s Macau Grand Prix:
Thirty-one riders from 13 different nations and territories will contest the 46th edition of the legendary Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix Nov. 15-18.
We are delighted to announce that the superb entry is headed by Michael Rutter, who broke the record for the most number of victories at Macau when he took an unprecedented seventh win last year. Michael is back again to stamp his authority on the race which he has made his own.
Joining Rutter will be Macau regular and winner here in 2001, 19-time IOMTT winner John McGuinness, holder of the outright lap record on the Isle of Man TT course.
Twenty-seven-year old Martin Jessopp, who was so impressive here last year and finished second to Michael, will definitely be one to watch. Conor Cummins, runner-up in 2009, and Gary Johnson, who just missed out on a podium finish that year, are amongst the riders making a return to Macau.
This year, we have some new faces and amongst the crop of riders making their Macau debuts are Gary’s fellow British Superstock 1000 competitor, Irishman Steve Heneghan. Exciting road racing talent Lee Johnston, 28, comes to Macau for the first time, as does 21-year-old Jamie Hamilton, who has just completed a successful Irish road racing season.
Joining popular Macau regular from the USA, Mark Miller, is newcomer Brandon Cretu, 27. Brandon is the youngest American rider ever to compete at the Isle of Man, and is a regular competitor in the USA’s WERA Endurance Championships.
The truly international nature of this year’s entry includes David Johnson of Australia, Stefano Bonetti of Italy, Brazilian Rafael Paschoalin and Japanese rider Yoshinari Matsuhita. From Portugal come Nuno Caetano, Luis Carreira and Fernando Costa.
Flying the flag for Macau in their home race will be Joao Fernandes, partnering German Rico Penzkofer, and Sou Sio Hong.
For the first time this year, a three-in-a-row grid format, as used in MotoGP, will be adopted in Macau in place of the previously used four. The intention of the new format is to stretch the field as the riders head into the fast left-hander at Reservoir, and allow safer passage through the fast right Mandarin Oriental Bend, before heading down to Lisboa.