Macau Grand Prix: Race Ends in Tragedy

Posted: 18th November 2017

Dan Hegarty crashes at Fishermen's Bend – Succumbs to injuries – Race stopped after six laps – Glenn Irwin: “God Speed Mate”

The Macau Grand Prix was stopped after six laps following a tragic incident which saw Dan Hegarty succumb to his injuries en route to hospital. Our thoughts are with Dan's friends and family.

Dan Hegarty, Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix, 2017

Statement of the Macau Grand Prix Organizing Committee

The Macau Grand Prix Organizing Committee regrets to announce that, following an incident during the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix – 51st Edition today (November 18 2017) at Fishermen’s Bend, the rider of bike number 8, Daniel Hegarty, aged 31, suffered serious injuries.

The race was immediately stopped and Daniel was transferred to hospital. It is with great regret that we have to announce that the British rider succumbed to his injuries en route to the Conde S. Januario Hospital.

Daniel’s family and team have been contacted, and the Committee will ensure every assistance is extended to them.

The Macau Grand Prix Organizing Committee extends its deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Daniel.

Irwin Wins in Macao

The 51st running of the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix turned into a wheel-to-wheel scrap between pole-sitter Glenn Irwin (TAK CHUN Racing  by PBM/Penz13 Ducati) and winner of the previous two events Peter Hickman (SMT/Bathams by MGM Macau BMW).

The pair of them left the line side by side and Irwin led all the way through the first turn, but Hickman won the drag-race to Lisboa and the braking competition when the two of them arrived there more or less side by side and already pulling ahead of Martin Jessopp (Riders Motorcycles BMW).

But as they came to the end of the opening lap, Irwin slid the Ducati up the inside of the right-hander to take back a lead he would never lose, though he could not shake off the determined Hickman either, always about a second behind him everywhere they went.

Before the race got underway, Irwin had climbed off his motorcycle at the end of the warm-up lap and looked into the engine, identifying what he later called a “serious mechanical issue”, which meant he was pretty sure it would not last the full 12 laps.

He was still leading after six laps, with Rutter slotting into third on the second of the SMT/Bathams by MGM Macau BMW's but unable to catch Hickman or break free of Jessopp.

With the scene set for a classic battle, the race was stopped after six laps by red flags following a serious incident at Fishermen's Bend. The result declared in Irwin's favour with a 1.3 second margin to record the first win for a Northern Ireland rider since Phillip McCallen in 1996.

When the race ended, Conor Cummins (Padgett’s Motorcycles Honda) was in fifth place, ahead of Gary Johnson (Briggs Equipment Kawasaki), Dean Harrison (Silicone Engineering Racing Kawasaki) and Lee Johnston (RST Racing BMW).

Words: Martin Gelder, Macau Grand Prix, Photos Macau Grand Prix