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Easton to make eagerly anticipated Macau Grand Prix return

Triple winner Stuart Easton forms a formidable line-up with Ian Hutchinson in Paul Bird's Kawasaki team for the 48th Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix in November
Triple Macau Grand Prix winner Stuart Easton returns to the legendary road race in November, when he'll be joined in Paul Bird's team by Yorkshireman Ian Hutchinson.

Easton won the race three times in succession from 2008 to 2010 and makes an eagerly anticipated return on the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki.

Last year, Hutchinson won the event during an emotional comeback on the Milwaukee Yamaha, but this time eight-time winner Michael Rutter will ride Shaun Muir's YZF-R1 as he bids to extend his record tally of victories at the Guia street circuit in the Far East.

Isle of Man TT star Michael Dunlop is also among the entries as the Ulster rider returns to the event for the first time since making his Macau debut three years ago.

Dunlop, who completed his second consecutive Isle of Man TT four-timer this year boost his haul of victories on the Mountain Course to 11, will ride for Rico Penzkofer's Penz13.com BMW team.

The 25-year-old has already won on the machine at the Frohburg Road Races in Germany, setting a new lap record, and will be aiming to repeat his father Robert's famous 1989 victory at Macau.

The star-studded entry also includes Honda's John McGuinness, plus sensational roads newcomer and British Superbike contender Peter Hickman, who teams up with Macau veteran Paul Shoesmith in the Ice Valley by Motorsave Trade Racing team.

Bradford's Dean Harrison, a multiple winner this season, returns to Macau for a second time and another young rider keen to make his mark in Macau is Northern Ireland's Jamie Hamilton, who will ride the Wilson Craig Honda.

Fan favourites and Macau front-runners Gary Johnson (Quattro Plant Honda), third last year, James Storrar, and Martin Jessopp (Riders Motorcycles BMW) will be back, while Jeremy Toye, Mark Miller and Brandon Cretu make up a strong American contingent.

Manx rider Dan Kneen and newcomer Michael Sweeney will compete for John Burrows' team, with Lee Johnston lining up on the East Coast/Pirtek Honda.

The expanding European road racing scene is producing an increased number of quality riders who will make the trip to Macau, including Germany's Didier Grams, Austrian Horst Saiger, Belgian Marc Fissette and Swiss racer Roman Stamm, who made his debut last year.

This year sees the 48th edition of the iconic race meeting, with 32 riders from nine countries represented.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Michael Rutter leads Ian Hutchinson at the Macau Grand Prix
Conor Cummins has joined the Padgetts Racing Honda team for 2017.
Lee Johnston has teamed up with Ryan Farquhar to race a KMR Kawasaki in the NI Air Ambulance colours at the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT.
Alastair Seeley with the Tyco BMW he will race at the North West 200.
John McGuinness on the Jackson Racing Honda.
Michael Dunlop, Carl Cox, [Credit: Holeshot PR]
Michael Dunlop has signed for Bennets Suzuki for the 2017 international road races.
Michael Dunlop has signed for the Bennett Suzuki team for 2017.
Guy Martin, John McGuinness Honda Racing, [Credit: Honda Racing]
Guy Martin, Honda Racing, [Credit: Honda Racing]
Josh Brookes has signed to ride for Norton at the Isle of Man TT in 2017.
Dan Kneen has signed for the Penz13.com Racing Team for the 2017 road races.
Dan Hegarty won the TT Privateers Championship in 2016.
Peter Hickman will ride for Smiths Racing in 2017 at the international road races and in the British Superbike Championship.
Peter Hickman won the Macau Grand Prix for the second year running on the Bathams/SMT BMW.
Glenn Irwin on the PBM Ducati at the Macau Grand Prix.
Glenn Irwin on the PBM Be Wiser Ducati at the Macau Grand Prix.
Peter Hickman on the Bathams/SMT BMW at the Macau Grand Prix.

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