Fast-rising Ulster road racing talent Jamie Hamilton says the opportunity to make his debut at the 46th Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix is a 'great honour'.
Hamilton will ride Ryan Farquhar's KMR Kawasaki ZX-10R at the infamous Guia street circuit in the Far East with backing from ex-racer Alan Patterson, who has facilitated the former British Superstock 600 champion's maiden trip to Macau under the RPM Performance umbrella.
The 21-year-old is coming off the back of a memorable season in Farquhar's team after winning the coveted Best Newcomer award at the Isle of Man TT and earning a breakthrough victory on the big stage at the Southern 100 on the Isle of Man, where Hamilton set race and lap records on his way to victory in the Supertwin class.
Northern Ireland's Lee Johnston will also make the long journey to southern China as he also visits Macau for the first time, where he'll ride the Millsport Ducati under the RPM Performance banner, effectively forming a two-man team for Patterson alongside fellow rookie Hamilton.
Hamilton, who ended the Irish National roads season with a victory at Killalane in September in the Supertwin race and a podium finish in the Grand Final, told the Belfast News Letter he was treating his debut purely as a learning experience.
"It's an honour to have the chance to race at Macau and I've never been outside Europe before, so I'm really looking forward to seeing another part of the world as well," he said.
"I'm riding the Superstock Kawasaki I've rode all season on the same Michelin tyres, so it's a package I'm used to and I can just focus on learning the track.
"I've had a good season so I don't have anything to prove at Macau and I'll just take it nice and steady," he added.
"Alan Patterson has sorted it all out for me, so it's thanks to him and also Ryan [Farquhar] as well, because he stepped in and offered me the bike after a deal to ride another bike fell through."
Following Farquhar's decision to retire from the sport in the wake of his uncle Trevor Ferguson's fatal crash at the Manx Grand Prix, Hamilton is unsure if he will have the chance to continue riding for the Dungannon team boss in 2013 as Farquhar attempts to secure funding to run his KMR Kawasaki outfit.