British Superbike star Peter Hickman will return to the Golden Jubilee Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix next month to defend the title he won in sensational style in the Far East last year.
Hickman clinched the spoils at only his second attempt in 2015 as he reeled in fellow Briton Martin Jessopp on the Briggs Equipment BMW to scale the top step at the Guia street circuit.
The 29-year-old returns this year on the Bathams/SMT BMW for the milestone 50th anniversary of the famous race in the Far East, when he will face an array of formidable opponents.
Record eight-time winner Michael Rutter and four-time victor Stuart Easton will also ride BMW machinery for the Bathams/SMT Racing team.
The undisputed king of Macau, Rutter remains a major contender 19 years on from his maiden podium at the event and was in the mix as usual last year with an excellent ride to third place. The Midlands rider has been in brilliant form this season in the British Superstock 1000 Championship and will fancy his prospects of a ninth victory.
Scotsman Easton made his Macau return last year amidst much hype but struggled on the Yamaha R1. The diminutive Hawick man will be eager to set the record straight in November on the BMW S1000RR and has shown what he is capable of in the past.
Yorkshire's Ian Hutchinson is fresh from a dominant four-timer at the Ulster Grand Prix, where he established a new outright lap record in excess of 134mph. The Tyco BMW rider won at Macau for the first time in 2013 and Hutchy is another who sits prominently on the shortlist of potential winners.
Macau regular John McGuinness returns with the Honda Racing team and the Morecambe man narrowly missed out on a rostrum finish last year behind Rutter after a late charge saw him secure a solid fourth place. McGuinness is joined on the CBR1000RR Fireblade machines by Manx rider Conor Cummins.
Runner-up Jessopp must have felt he was on course for his maiden Macau GP success last year only to be caught and passed by Hickman and the Yeovil rider, who has now finished in second place three times, will be eager to go one step further on the Riders Motorcycles BMW.
A quality field also includes Gary Johnson on the Penz13.com BMW who partners newcomer Danny Webb, plus Manx rider Dan Kneen on the Mar-Train Racing Yamaha.
However, British Superbike prospect Glenn Irwin is the most high-profile name set to make his bow at Macau this year, with the Ulster rider leading the charge for Paul Bird's Be Wiser Ducati team on the Panigale R.
Ireland's Derek Sheils will also make the long trip to ride the Cookstown B.E. Racing Suzuki for John Burrows' team, while Dan Hegarty – winner of the Isle of Man Privateers Championship this year – will race a Kawasaki for Special Olympics Project Kawasaki by Nature Power.
The 50th Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix will be held over 12 laps on Saturday, November 19.