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Easton gunning for fantastic five at Macau

Stuart Easton will return to Macau to defend his title on the PBM Kawasaki as the Scot bids for a fifth victory the legendary event.
PBM Kawasaki's Stuart Easton will return to the Suncity Group Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix to defend his title in November.

The Scottish rider made his return to the event in 2014, clinching his fourth victory at the infamous Guia street course on the PBM Kawasaki after three successive wins in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Isle of Man TT star Ian Hutchinson will also make the trip to the Far East for the 49th running of the event in a formidable line-up for Paul Bird's team.

Hutchinson was back to his best at the TT this year, claiming a treble in the Supersport and Superstock races for the first time since his career was almost ended by a freak accident at Silverstone in 2010.

The Bingley rider won at Macau on the Milwaukee Yamaha in 2013 and is among the chief threats to team-mate Easton.

The evergreen Michael Rutter, a winner at Macau eight times, joins forces with Rico Penzkofer's BMW team to ride the S1000RR at Macau as he bids to give the German marque its maiden triumph at the event.

Rutter is joined in the team by Gary Johnson, who has finished inside the top five on his previous six visits and Canadian rider Dan Kruger, who made his debut in 2014.

Northern Ireland's Lee Johnston could prove the fly in the ointment as the Ulster GP hat-trick hero returns on the East Coast/Burdens BMW. Johnston qualified on the front row last year and was a serious contender for victory before dropping back to finish fifth in the latter stages.

Another dark horse is the ever-impressive Peter Hickman, who clinched his maiden international roads win in the Superbike class at the Ulster Grand Prix. The British Superbike challenger will ride the Briggs Equipment BMW and his prospects of a rostrum assault can't be dismissed lightly as Hickman continues to make stunning progress on the roads.

Morecambe's John McGuinness, who was back on top at the TT as he won the Senior race and established a new outright lap record in the process in June, is Honda-mounted for the legendary race and is one of the most experienced riders on the grid.

The line-up also includes Martin Jessopp on the Riders Motorcycles BMW, who finished third last year, plus Jimmy Storrar – another Macau regular who is well acquainted with the BMW S1000RR.

Manxman Conor Cummins plus Dan Cooper (Space Centre Racing), Davy Morgan (Magic Bullet Racing) and Tom McHale (CF Racing Team 32) are all Honda-mounted.

Ireland is represented by Steve Heneghan (ReactiveParts.com Yamaha), Brian McCormack (TAG Racing Honda) and Michael Sweeney (MS Kawasaki).

Paul Shoesmith and David Johnson head the Ice Valley by Motorsave Trade BMW challenge, while top European road racer Didier Grams from Germany is a familiar face at Macau and will be aiming for a top ten finish at least.

Austrian Horst Saiger will compete under the Saiger-Heidger Macau Race Team umbrella alongside Grams and is a top six contender after finished a strong sixth last November.

Russ Mountford (VRS Racing Honda) is an interesting newcomer and the grid is further enhanced by the presence of Americans Mark Miller (Splitlath EBR) and Brandon Cretu (Bimota Factory Racing).

Cretu renews an old association with Ben Wylie as the iconic Italian manufacturer Bimota's season-long campaign at the major road racing events culminates at Macau.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Stuart Easton on the PBM Kawasaki at the Macau Grand Prix
Action from the 2016 North West 200
Michael Dunlop on the Team Classic Suzuki XR69 during the Classic Superbike race at the Classic TT.
Michael Dunlop on the Black Eagle MV Agusta at the Classic TT.
Michael Dunlop on the Black Eagle MV Agusta at the Classic TT.
Bruce Anstey won the Lightweight race at the Classic TT on the Padgetts Honda RS250.
John McGuinness on the Winfield Paton at the Classic TT.
Bruce Anstey on the Padgetts RS250 Honda at the Classic TT.
Dean Harrison on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki at the Classic TT.
Bruce Anstey on the Padgetts RS250 Honda at the Classic TT.
Michael Dunlop on the Team Classic Suzuki XR69 at the Classic TT.
Michael Dunlop on the Team Classic Suzuki XR69 during practice for the Classic TT.
Michael Dunlop
Gary Johnson
Ian Lougher, Dean Harrison and Lee Johnston in the winners` enclosure following the 2015 500cc Classic TT
Tyco BMW`s Ian Hutchinson
Bruce Anstey on the YZR500 Yamaha at the Classic TT.
Ian Hutchinson leads Michael Dunlop in the Superbike class at the Ulster Grand Prix.

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