The 53rd edition of the Suncity Group Macau Grand Prix, held at Guia Circuit, was far from ideal, with the race ending prematurely after three laps and after two red flag situations following crashes involving several pilots, which forced the restart of the same.
Premature was also the end of the race of André Pires, having suffered a fall in the tight hook of the Melco curve at the end of the first lap of the race, fortunately without consequences for the Portuguese driver.
As predicted, Pires again improved his benchmark time in the warm-up session, getting closer and closer to the target set for the entry of the fastest fifteen. At the end of the final chance of preparing for the 12-lap race scheduled for Saturday, the number 14 bike crossed the finish line in 19th position, again lowering that was its best record yet. However, as the race began, things would change dramatically.
André was focused and prepared to fulfil what he had proposed for himself and his team, the arrival at the TOP 15. Soon after the start, the Portuguese driver put into practice his action plan, after the passing of the two initial sharp turns. , in braking on the arrival of “Hotel Lisboa”, striking an attack to recover as many positions as possible, a task successfully completed for Pires. Still, in the first lap, and with the riders riding very close together, André would attack again at key points, again rising in the overall standings.
By the end of the first lap, André was already riding with the main group, when at the exit of the tight and charismatic Melco curve hook, the rear of the Yamaha YZF-R1 escaped Pires’ control, catapulting him to the ground without showing any warning sign. With no physical consequences, André quickly lifted his bike but unsuccessfully returning to start the powerful 1000cc, forcing the abandonment and shattering any chance of a good result, in what was his seventh stint in the Macau event.
On the next lap, the race would even be halted with a red flag following a crash involving two riders. With the restart starting next, already without the protagonist bikes of the grid incidents, the race went through the initial phase, to be stopped shortly after, in another crash situation with six riders, leading the race direction to show the new red flag. It did not resume again and ended sooner than expected, with veteran Michael Rutter being declared the winner.
André Pires # 14
“Despite what happened was a good race, I started well, started well, with some overtaking, where I won and lost some positions. In braking for” Hotel Lisboa “, I recovered places, I was at a good pace, with the group of faster on the first lap. In the course of the first lap, I was able to overtake two more riders and after that, that was when I crashed, fortunately without consequences.
It’s a little sad for us but I’m glad I was trying to run well and I think we were going to make a good result. I have to thank the whole team for the excellent work they have done over the weekend and also the sponsors who once again supported my coming here to Macau. I hope to return again for the year and have to face the races anyway, these mistakes are part of it. Things don’t always go the way we want, but we’re happy with the work we’ve done. “