Top commentator is GP accident victim
The action hadn't even started but the 58th Macau Grand Prix has already claimed its first victim, with the renowned international motorcycle commentator Chris Carter being laid up in hospital.
The widely respected Carter, 70, fell and broke his shoulder in his hotel room and is due to undergo an operation.
Carter has been a long-standing visitor to Macau, this being his 34th consecutive year, and is well-known for his dry sense of humour.
'We will miss him this weekend,' said six-time champion Michael Rutter. 'It is not great to start the week hearing that someone you know has had an injury.'
Rutter and the two-wheeled brigade are casting uneasy glances at the sky, with the forecast being rain this weekend.
'If it rains we won't race. We don't bring wet [weather] tyres to Macau,' Rutter said as he mingled with drivers from the Formula Three race and the World Touring Car Championship outside the 16th century ruins of St Paul's. Hundreds of mainland tourists jostled with the stars for a shot of Macau's famous landmark. Rutter is hoping to set a personal landmark on Saturday, by becoming the first person to win seven Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix titles.
He is tied on six with Ron Haslam, but the last of his wins was in 2005. This could be his best opportunity, with defending champion Stuart Easton still recovering from an injury.
'It is a shame Stuart's not here. But I hope to take advantage of his absence,' Rutter said. 'There is no pressure on me to win, but it would be nice to make it title number seven. It would give me something to talk about.'
A total of 225 competitors will take part in seven car races and the motorcycle grand prix. The action gets under way today with practice and qualifying sessions.