Be Wiser Ducati rider Glenn Irwin saw his hopes of a sensational debut podium cruelly dashed when he was forced out of the Sun City Group Macau Grand Prix 50th Edition on the penultimate lap due to a technical problem today.
The 26-year-old from Carrickfergus in County Antrim was on course for some silverware aboard the factory-supported Be Wiser Ducati Panigale R as he diced with the experienced Macau trio of Michael Rutter, Martin Jessopp and 2015 winner Peter Hickman.
Having qualified in a brilliant third place, Irwin, who recently re-signed for Paul Bird’s Penrith-based team for 2017, got a great start around the 6.12km Circuito Da Guia to run in second place as the leading quartet made a break from the pack.
As the race progressed, the Ulsterman held fourth place, but was never more than a couple of seconds off the leader on the Metzeler-shod machine and by lap 11 of the 12-lap race, was up to third position and looking strong.
However, it wasn’t to last as a technical problem sidelined him in the most cruellest of fashions leaving him to retire within sight of the chequered flag whereby Hickman took the win again, ahead of Rutter with Jessopp in third.
Glenn Irwin: “To say I’m gutted is an understatement. I felt happy running with the other three riders and the plan was to make a move on the last lap. I pulled back half a second on Rutter on the lapbefore and was within 0.8 seconds of the lead when I suffered a technical problem on the penultimate lap. It’s disappointing as I really felt I could have had a podium but these things happen. I’d like to say a massive thanks to my team, Ducati and the sponsors for making this happen and I’d love to come back again next year with the PBM Be Wiser Ducati Team and finish the job off.”
Image courtesy of Sports Bureau of Macao