Written by J.C. Current, Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com
The Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix has a sort of shadow following; the people who know of the event do their best to get there, or at least try to watch it, and the ones that don’t simply reply ‘huh?’ when asked about it. This is the nature of a ‘real roads’ race held on what many would call the far side of the planet: Macau, China. Since it was left out of any points earning series, the only riders who attended were those who could afford it (or barely afford it), often driven by the pure desire to race, and some professional racers who could earn a purse for participating. One part of this will change at this, the 44th running of the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix to be held on 18 – 21 November. As of 2010, the race is now a part of the Duke Road Race Rankings.
The Duke system has been around for nine years and is the only series which creates a points race for real roads racing. The Macau Grand Prix now joins the other prestigious points-earning events: Isle of Man TT, North West 200, and the Ulster Grand Prix. The Macau addition was made official back in February making it 26 races in all for the series.
This means that many of the riders we see take to the tarmac in those mostly European races will also be seen on the Guia circuit of Macau. And, it means that the competition there will be even fiercer as racers are working for points and a Championship. Fortunate readers will see Stuart Easton, Keith Amor, Cameron Donald, Michael Rutter, Martin Jessop, John McGuinness, Rico Penzkofer, Mark Miller, Jeremy Toye and local racers Joao Fernandes, Sou Sio Hong, and Ip Weng Keong all riding their very best on those dangerous lanes.
Macau is a beautiful place with influences both European (it was once a Portuguese colony) and Chinese. The food is incredible, the shopping interesting, and the gambling industry there has finally come into the 21st century, so there is much to distract any visitor. Hopefully, the riders can stay focused on the course. Given the newfound importance of this event, and the fact that most consider it extremely tough and challenging, they had better concentrate hard. Macau is likely to change the face of the Duke Road Racing Rankings and the important fight to clench the Championship.