Stuart Easton has won the Macau Grand Prix for the first time in his career after prevailing in a thrilling exchange between himself and multiple winner Michael Rutter.

A race of two halves, Rutter looked to be out of contention when he slipped four seconds behind the leaders in the early laps, but he gradually reeled Easton in to be just 0.1secs adrift at one point.

However, while the Doosan Honda rider's pace dipped in the latter stages, he was still strong enough to hold on for victory, the Scot extending Britain's winning run in the race to eleven.

Easton, starting sixth, began well to move up to third at the start, behind Rutter and Cameron Donald, the trio getting the better of pole sitter Conor Cummins, who was shuffled down to sixth by the end of the first lap.

However, while six-time winner Rutter would have been considered tough to beat around the Guia circuit, both Donald and Easton were not waiting to find out as they moved through into first and second before quickly pulling away.

Indeed, Isle of Man TT winner Donald was looking a strong prospect on the Relentless Suzuki as he kept a comfortable distance back to Easton. However, his hopes of victory were dashed on lap five when he began slowing down with an apparent mechanical problem.

Allowing Easton up into the lead, he led by Rutter by almost four seconds at one point, but with the North West Ducati rider no longer under pressure from Cummins, who retired with a problem having fought his way back to third, he began to reel his BSB rival in.

Moving to within less than a second of Easton with just six laps remaining, it seemed Rutter's charge would put him in the lead. However, Easton picked up his pace again and while he was very nearly caught out by a stubborn back marker with three laps to go, Rutter couldn't find his way past.

In the end, Rutter dropped back by almost three seconds at the finish line, allowing Easton to join the likes of Steve Plater and John McGuinness on the coveted Macau Grand Prix winner's list.

Elsewhere, McGuinness finished a very quiet third on the Vent Axia Honda, more than half a minute adrift, while Portuguese rider Luis Carreira got the fans on their feet as he snatched fourth place off Michael Barnes on the final turn.

Brit Stephen Thompson was sixth, ahead of Ian Hutchinson, who faded from an initial fourth position on the Aviva Kawasaki. Jeremy Toye, Marc Fissettee and Rui Reigoto completed the top ten, while Keith Amor converted his Supersport pole position into victory, the Brit finishing 11th overall.

Dan Linfoot, meanwhile, was eliminated in a first lap clash.