ROADS favourite Gary Johnson believes the big scrap at this year’s Macau GP will be for second place – as he tips Peter Hickman for the win.
Johnson was out in club racing action at No Limits’ final round at Donington Park at the weekend, piloting Lee Hardy’s Kawasaki to get some much-needed track time ahead of November’s event.
Catching up with UK Clubsport while trying to decide whether or not to risk heading out on a wet track, he revealed he believes Peter Hickman will be the man to beat this year.
“I think the battle is going to be for second, and it’s going to be a big one between a few of us,” he said.
“Peter’s got to be the favourite. He’s coming in off the Senior TT win and been riding in BSB pretty much week in week out. He’s on form at the moment and he’s going to be very hard to beat.”
With Hickman partnering Michael Rutter at the new Aspire-Ho team, all eyes are set to be on the dynamic pairing this year, with 10 Macau wins between them.
Rutter is set to pilot a Honda RCV213V-S as the exciting machine makes its Macau debut, but with limited test time available, he’ll have a lot to do when the team pitch up for first practice.
“I think if Michael can get it working for him he’ll be battling all the way. It’s an incredible piece of kit and I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do with it.
“I’m also sure Martin Jessopp is going to be strong on the Be Wiser Ducati so he’s going to be up there too.
“I feel like I’m in a strong position because I’m with the same team again, and we just need a bit more time on the bike. I can see it being a fierce fight at the front with the four of us, but if Peter gets away it could end up being the race for second.”
*Images: Double Red