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Macau: a tension in the paddock

Is it the end of the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix as we know it?
By Barry Russell

The side story to this year's Macau Grand Prix is that, after 34 years, Mike Trimby is stepping down as organiser of the motorcycle race.

While the exact reasons for Trimby's decision are likely to remain behind closed doors, there is no disguising the fact that this is not an amicable split with the Macau Government, which owns and controls the four-day event.

The Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix is a spectacular season closer, coming after the major international and national championships have finished and, despite the distances involved, it has managed to attract most of the biggest names in international road racing from the UK, Europe and USA.

This has been no mean feat and local agencies have been successful in attracting local sponsorship from Macanese businesses like IGT, Road House and Mocha Clubs, which have added unfamiliar, exotic colours and brands to familiar bikes that have spent the season collecting trophies in the Isle of Man, the British Superbike Series and others. And it is not only the bikes: the riders' leathers and helmets sport some of the best and brightest designs seen anywhere in the world of motorcycle racing.

If the event continues and we assume that Trimby's successors have no problem financing the event in the cash-bloated Asian gambling mecca, the difficulty they will encounter will come in attracting the big stars who are regulars here.

Mike Trimby is one of the most senior and respected figures in world motorcycle racing and it is nothing less than his personal leadership that has made the bike race so popular and prestigious, ranking with the NW200 and Ulster GP as one of the world's great street races.

Although he prefers to stay beneath the radar, the sport knows him best as the CEO of the International Road Racing Teams Association (IRTA) which oversees MotoGP.

The Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix is a very much a labour of love for Trimby, who regards it more as an end-of-season celebration than as a commercial enterprise. The spirit of road racing, which is taken as read within the sport, is less widely understood outside and the Macau Grand Prix epitomises it.

The fact that the top riders receive decent, though modest start money and that the prize money would barely pay for a good night out are evidence of the importance Trimby places on putting on a good show without incentivising racers to take unnecessary risks.

Tagged as: Macau , Road Racing , Mike Trimby

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Mike Trimby with Michael Rutter (pic: Barry Russell)
Conor Cummins has joined the Padgetts Racing Honda team for 2017.
Lee Johnston has teamed up with Ryan Farquhar to race a KMR Kawasaki in the NI Air Ambulance colours at the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT.
Alastair Seeley with the Tyco BMW he will race at the North West 200.
John McGuinness on the Jackson Racing Honda.
Michael Dunlop, Carl Cox, [Credit: Holeshot PR]
Michael Dunlop has signed for Bennets Suzuki for the 2017 international road races.
Michael Dunlop has signed for the Bennett Suzuki team for 2017.
Guy Martin, John McGuinness Honda Racing, [Credit: Honda Racing]
Guy Martin, Honda Racing, [Credit: Honda Racing]
Josh Brookes has signed to ride for Norton at the Isle of Man TT in 2017.
Dan Kneen has signed for the Penz13.com Racing Team for the 2017 road races.
Dan Hegarty won the TT Privateers Championship in 2016.
Peter Hickman will ride for Smiths Racing in 2017 at the international road races and in the British Superbike Championship.
Peter Hickman won the Macau Grand Prix for the second year running on the Bathams/SMT BMW.
Glenn Irwin on the PBM Ducati at the Macau Grand Prix.
Glenn Irwin on the PBM Be Wiser Ducati at the Macau Grand Prix.
Peter Hickman on the Bathams/SMT BMW at the Macau Grand Prix.

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Gambalunga - Unregistered

November 20, 2011 1:50 PM

I had completely forgotten there was a car race, it is so far off the radar, whereas I follow the bike races every year. We are the poor relations,as ever, despite putting on the best show. But motorcycle racing is still where it's at, despite that idiot Ezpeleta's ruining of all classes of GP racing.

Eric - Unregistered

November 20, 2011 7:13 PM

Mokka. Macau is on every RR fans radar more so than the prosessional Moto GP or dare i say it WSB. The fact that the riders do this for the love of it and not the appearance money or prize money makes it what it is the ultimate challenge behind the TT. Ask Plater Easton Rutter and Ron Haslam what one of their greatest achievements were

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