Michael Rutter was denied a ninth victory at the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix after Ian Hutchinson sealed a stunning win on his racing return after a long spell on the sidelines.

Hutchinson passed Gary Johnson before overhauling SMT Honda rider Rutter, pulling away to open a lead of more than two seconds before the race was stopped on lap 13 of 15 after a crash involving newcomer Dean Harrison.

Rutter had closed the gap to 1.7s but once the pair encountered slower riders Hutchinson extended his advantage prior to the red flag incident with two laps remaining.

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"That was definitely one of my toughest rides around here with the heat and the pace of the race. I knew after qualifying that Hutchy was very strong so when Gary took the early lead, I tried as hard as I could to get by him and open up a gap," said Rutter.

"We were all pretty evenly matched though and I wasn't surprised when Ian came by. I tried to stay with him but he was able to pull out a gap straightaway and from there on it was very tough.

"I was able to make a bit of time up here and there but lost a bit elsewhere so I kind of knew that's how the race was going to end," he added.

"I got held up quite a bit by the backmarkers and had to go down to the first gear and follow them until I could get by but it probably wouldn't have made a difference.

"Fair play to Ian though, he's been through a lot these last few years and he deserved the win.

"It's a shame I couldn't defend the title for SMT Racing this time around but thanks to Robin [Croft] and the entire team for doing a great job."