Michael Rutter is the stand-out name on the entry list for this year's 45th running of the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix. The prestigious event has seen a British winner in each of the last 13 years and the chances of another UK success look high judging by the names already confirmed.
Alongside Rutter, 2002 winner John McGuinness will also be in action and with another TT Championship under his belt, the Morecambe man will be intent on adding to his eight podium finishes at Macau.
After finishing on the podium last year, American rider Jeremy Toye will be back alongside Conor Cummins in the Kawasaki Racing Team while Michael Dunlop completes the three-man squad. Michael, along with brother William, will be desperate to follow in some very special footsteps as he looks to join his late father Robert on the list of Macau masters.
Ian Hutchinson is a welcome name on the list of entrants as the Bingley rider makes his return to racing after more than a year out with a broken leg. 'Hutchy' will compete for Swan Yamaha while Brigg rider Gary Johnson will race under the IGT Suzuki by TAS banner. Martin Jessopp is also confirmed and will partner Michael Rutter, just as he does in the British Superbike Championship.
The major threat to the British contingent is likely to come from Bruce Anstey, the Kiwi rider took victory in the Supersport class at this year's TT and will race a 1000cc Honda for Padgetts Motorcycles. Former podium finisher Mark Miller will also be a threat while the home challenge will come from Sou Sio Hong and Joao Fernandes.
They will all be looking to join the list of legendary figures who have tasted victory in this event. Four-time Superbike World Champion Carl Fogarty has a win to his name while TT and BSB legend Steve Hislop has three of them. Former Grand Prix world champion Kevin Schwantz also took victory in 1988 in a decade dominated by Ron Haslam, a six-time winner in his own right.
One sad omission from the entry list is reigning triple champion Stuart Easton. The Scotsman claimed victory in each of the last three Macau GPs but will not be able to defend his title as he recovers from the serious injuries sustained at the North West 200.
City of Dreams Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix – 45th Edition
Provisional Entry List:
|2||Michael Rutter||GBR||Ducati||Team of Paris||1200|
|3||Michael Dunlop||GBR||Kawasaki||Kawasaki Racing Team||1000|
|4||John McGuinness||GBR||Honda||Roadhouse SMT Honda||1000|
|6||William Dunlop||GBR||Honda||Wilson Craig||1000|
|7||Ian Hutchinson||GBR||Yamaha||Swan Yamaha||1000|
|8||Conor Cummins||GBR||Kawasaki||Kawasaki Racing Team||1000|
|9||James McBride||GBR||BMW||PB Motorsport||1000|
|10||Mark Miller||USA||Aprilia||Splitlath Motorsport||1000|
|11||Stephen Thompson||GBR||Honda||Roadhouse T & R Motorsport||1000|
|15||James Storrar||GBR||BMW||IseeMacau.com BMW by DMR||1000|
|17||Steve Mercer||GBR||Honda||Jentin Racing||1000|
|18||Sou Sio Hong||MAC||Honda||SOU Sio Hong||1000|
|20||Sean Dwyer||USA||BMW||Locust-Lee's Cycle||1000|
|22||Chris Clark||USA||Yamaha||Yes-Pcs-Graves Yamaha||1000|
|23||Michal Dokoupil||CZE||BMW||IseeMacau.com BMW by DMR||1000|
|26||Didier Grams||GER||Suzuki||Team Heidger-Motorsport.de||1000|
|32||Joao Fernandes||MAC||BMW||Team of Paris||1000|
|34||Michael Barnes||USA||Kawasaki||Attack Performance Kawasaki||1000|
|37||James Hillier||GBR||Kawasaki||Bournemouth Kawasaki||1000|
|40||Martin Jessopp||GBR||Ducati||Team of Paris||1200|
|55||Tiago Magalhaes||POR||Kawasaki||Motodesacelera Kawasaki||1000|
|57||Jeremy Toye||USA||Kawasaki||Kawasaki Racing Team||1000|
|69||Gary Johnson||GBR||Suzuki||IGT Suzuki by TAS||1000|
|77||Nuno Caetano||POR||Suzuki||HM Racing Team||1000|
|99||Paul Shoesmith||GBR||BMW||PB Motorsport||1000|