The new BMW HP4 made its race debut on November 18, when Rico Penzkofer rode a production version of the new supersports bike to 17th place at the 46th Macau Grand Prix. The race was held on the 6.2 kilemeter Guia street circuit, in the former Portuguese colony, west of Hong Kong. The course is reckoned by many to be the second most dangerous in the world, after the Isle of Man TT course, and the GP was the final race of Penzkofer’s professional career.
"In the closing stages it was obvious that the leading group was out of reach. So I decided to slow down a little bit to appreciate my final laps as a professional rider," he said. "I want to thank BMW Motorrad for giving me the opportunity to race the brand new BMW HP4 here in Macau. The bike is great. I rode a production version that was only slightly modified for racing but there is not much difference to a pure racing machine.”
The race weekend in Macau was overshadowed by two tragic incidents. On Thursday, Portuguese rider Luis Filipe de Sousa Carreira was killed in a crash during qualifying for the Motorbike Grand Prix. One day later, Philip Yau from Hong Kong died following a crash in qualifying ahead of the CTM Macau Touring Car Cup.
“The fatal crashes suffered by Luis and Philip were a big shock to us all,” said Berthold Hauser, Head of BMW Motorrad HP RaceSupport. “It is always dreadful when such tragic accidents happen. Serious accidents like these cast a shadow over everything else, and our joy at the successful race debut of our BMW HP4 has understandably been tempered somewhat. We are happy that we could provide Rico with such a good bike for his final race. Congratulations go to Simon Andrews, who secured the first ever Macau podium finish for BMW with his BMW S 1000 RR.”
The BMW HP4 is the continuation of BMW Motorrad’s HP series, which was first launched in 2005. Following the HP2 Enduro, HP2 Megamoto and HP2 Sport twin-engine models, the HP4 is the first four-cylinder bike in the series. The motorcycle is based on the BMW S 1000 RR and the production model includes such features as Race ABS, Dynamic Damper Control (DDC) and Dynamic Traction Control (DTC).––Paul DucheneBack to News