Michael Rutter has described his deal to compete with FHO Racing BMW Motorrad at the 2023 Macau Grand Prix as ‘quite a big deal’ in his quest to secure a tenth win at the annual event.
A reputed specialist of the street-based Guia Circuit located on the Sino-Portuguese peninsula, Rutter holds the record for victories in Macau having won on nine previous occasions since his first triumph way back in 1998.
A tally that surpasses other great winners of the event, among them John McGuinness, Robert Dunlop, Carl Fogarty, Steve Hislop, Kevin Schwantz and Ron Haslam, though Rutter has squared up to a new foe in Peter Hickman in recent years, he remains a formidable force at 51-years old.
Having raced a Honda RC213V-S in recent attempts, Rutter is excited to be linking up with BSB and TT race winners FHO Racing, owned and run by Macanese entrepreneur Faye Ho, to compete alongside Peter Hickman and Josh Brookes.
“I’m looking forward to going back to Macau, the last time I raced there was in 2019 which turned out to be a short race with just one lap. Heading back this year with FHO Racing is quite a big deal, they’re the biggest team in the UK and after their success at the Isle of Man TT Races, we should be in for some good results.
“I’m looking forward to being teammates with Josh [Brookes] and Peter [Hickman], I’ve raced against them so much in the past so although it’ll be highly competitive, the three of us will be a strong team.
“A huge thanks to Faye and the team for the opportunity, it’ll be great to be back racing at Macau with FHO Racing and with my long-term sponsors Bathams also onboard; it would be great to secure win number ten!”
Rutter returns to the Macau GP having won on his last appearance in 2019, albeit in somewhat controversial circumstances.
The veteran had qualified a distant second to Hickman in qualifying but made the most of a better start to hold the lead through the mix of high-speed turns and tricky wall-lined hairpins on lap one.
Though he’d be swiftly overtaken by Hickman as the race entered lap two, a crash soon afterwards would bring out the red flags. With the schedule already under pressure from earlier stoppages in other races, the decision was made no to restart the two-wheel race, meaning results were declared from the end of lap one when Rutter was leading, therefore awarding him victory.