Michael Rutter leads the entry list for the 42nd Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix, to be held on the famous south-China street circuit on Saturday November 15.
Rutter, a six-time winner, returns to Macau's Guia Circuit in an attempt to finally break the record he shares with motorcycle legend Ron Haslam.
Rutter last won the Motorcycle Grand Prix in 2005, and has twice been prevented from going one better than 'Rocket Ron'. In 2006 he finished second, while last year, despite starting from pole, he finished down in eleventh place after being forced down the slip road three laps from the flag. But Macau still rates among his best circuits and Rutter must be considered amongst the favourites.
This year, Rutter will be on board a 1200cc Ducati run by the North West 200 squad. It is the first time a Ducati has run at Macau since 2004.
Whilst Steve Plater - winner at Macau for the past two seasons - will not be present to defend his crown, there will still be plenty of riders from across the globe ready and able to deny Rutter his seventh win.
Fellow Briton John McGuinness, the 2001 Macau winner and last year's runner-up, won his fourteenth Isle of Man TT this year, taking victory in June's Senior TT Race. McGuinness, having set a new lap record last year, will be making his eleventh visit to Macau, this time with Ventaxia VK Honda, and must be considered a hot favourite for victory.
Joining McGuinness in Paul Bird's squad is an American newcomer, Mike Barnes, one of the most versatile and talented from the USA. He has the skill, machinery and the pedigree to do well once he has learnt the unforgiving circuit.
Another member of the twelve-strong British contingent is Stuart Easton, Supersport winner at Macau in 2002, and second overall in 2004. The 25-year-old was forced to miss the event last year after breaking his left heel in a test-day in France.
Easton, racing this year in the British Superbike Championship for Kawasaki, finished fifth at Oulton Park when he returned to action after breaking his wrist. Easton will race with Hydrex-Bike Animal Honda Superbike for Macau.