Macau Grand Prix 2018: Ben Wylie in hospital but Phil Crowe fine as motorcycle crash ends race early; Peter Hickman wins
- Ben Wylie taken to emergency room following Fisherman’s Bend crash
- Phil Crowe given check-up but fine after colliding with Wylie’s bike
Peter Hickman was awarded his third Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix after two riders crashed with four laps to go at the Guia Circuit’s notorious Fisherman’s Bend section.
Bimota’s Ben Wylie struck the barrier and spun out of control on lap eight, with Phil Crowe coming off his BMW after hitting Wylie’s bike, though neither rider has life-threatening injuries.
Wylie was treated for pain in his left shoulder before being transferred to the emergency room at Conde S. Januario General Hospital, where he is conscious but under examination.
Crowe was given a check-up after the accident but it was determined by the organising committee’s chief medical officer that no further examination was needed.
Ambulance sirens could be heard trackside as the remaining riders came into the pit lane early, with Michael Rutter declared second and Martin Jessopp third.
“The red flag came out, fingers crossed the riders involved are all OK,” Hickman said on the podium. “That’s the main thing to be honest.”
Wylie and Crowe were the third and fourth motorcycle riders to crash this week at the Guia Circuit, with Andrew Dudgeon fracturing his spine and Raul Torras suffering a traumatic head injury in Thursday’s practice session.
Tragedy struck in the 2017 race when 31-year-old Daniel Hegarty of Britain died from his injuries en route to hospital after also crashing at Fisherman’s Bend.
For Hickman, it was a third win in four years, and victory ensured he has won every international road race this year.
“I was really happy to win my third Macau Grand Prix,” added the Aspire-Ho by Bathams Racing rider. “Michael got a much better start than me, I was quite happy just sat there following him.
“After the third lap I thought I’d get my head down a bit and see if I could break him, which I did.”
Hickman had been on pole but Rutter overtook him early on, only to be reeled back in.
“It was a bit of shock really [to be leading],” Rutter said. “I just got my head down and thought don’t go too mad, try and be as quick as I can. I went alright until Hickman came flying past.
“He pulled a massive gap, I thought, ‘Oh no, this is just embarrassing’. I started pulling him back a bit. but he was dead smooth, wasn’t making any mistakes.
“In the last two laps before the end I was making a bit more ground, but he carried on his pace then the red flag came out.”
With eight wins of his own here, there are doubts surrounding the 46-year-old Rutter’s future at the race.
“I really enjoyed that out there today, standing on the podium, I’m so lucky to be up here,” he said. “I first came back here in 1993, it’s a dream. I’m lucky enough to have won eight of them. They’re all difficult in their ways.
“I never want to say that’s the end, though I am getting older. But I think I’ll come back.”
Earlier, Brazil’s Augusto Farfus claimed pole for Sunday’s GT Cup with victory in the qualification race ahead of Mercedes-AMG pair Raffaele Marciello and Maro Engel.
“Macau is always special, and the GT Cup is extremely tough with talented drivers along the field,” Farfus said.
“We didn’t know exactly what to expect. We prepared a bit better. I was extremely committed, I wanted to give it my all, play all my cards.
“I just pushed as hard as I could. The car felt good. It’s good to start on pole tomorrow. There are still here and there some more tweaks to be done to the car, but I am ready.”
The first World Touring Car Cup race went to Jean-Karl Vernay ahead of Yvan Muller and Rob Huff, with two more to come on Sunday.
“I just tried to make no mistakes and stay consistent,” Vernay said. “I’m really happy for Audi, for the team that we achieve.
“But we can’t be really happy or excited, there are two more races to come. We have to stay focused, then we might celebrate tomorrow, but there is still a long way.”