Easton on Hunt for Third Macau Crown

The Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix has achieved an iconic status in the world of two-wheel street circuit racing, bringing an international field of road racing and endurance specialists together for a unique end-of-season challenge on one of the world's most demanding tracks.

For the first time this year, the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix is the season finale of the 26-race Duke Road Race Rankings. Established in 2002, the Duke Road Race Rankings is the only series to recognise season-long performance on road circuits, and includes the world's most exciting road races.

Stuart Easton tops an exciting entry for the 44th running of the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix, as he heads to the Far East on the hunt for a third successive Guia Circuit victory. The 27-year-old Briton, currently 9th in the British Superbike Championship, will be making his 7th visit to Macau, after clinching his second victory here last year. In 2010 will ride for the PBM Kawasaki WSBK Team, partnered by Scotsman Keith Amor.

Of the riders coming to Macau who are entered in the Duke Road Race Rankings, Amor is ranked the highest, currently 5th overall, with Australian Cameron Donald, who will compete with relentless Suzuki By TAS at Macau, ranked in 17th. Donald celebrated a podium finish in the Isle of Man Superbike race earlier this year.

Determined to take another Macau victory will be Michael Rutter, currently 5th in the British Superbike Championship, who would set a new record for the most number of wins if he were to take the chequered flag for a 7th time. This year, Rutter will be aboard a Ducati, racing with Team of Paris alongside 24-year-old Briton Martin Jessopp, also on a Ducati, newcomer Anthony Dos Santos, and local rider Joao Fernandes, both on Suzukis.

John McGuinness, winner at Macau in 2001, and who this year celebrated his 5th victory at the North West 200, returns on a Honda.

Englishman Gary Johnson, 30, who just missed out on a podium finish in 2009, returns on an A.I.M. Racing Suzuki, and is partnered on the team by fellow Briton James Hillier, 25. Dan Kneen, 23, of the Isle of Man will make his Macau debut this year on a DMR Racing BMW, joined on the team by Briton James Storrar. Kneen is currently 3rd in the 2010 British Supersport Championship with just one round to go.

In addition to the strong British contingent, Europe is represented by Austrian Horst Saiger of the Yamaha Austria Racing Team, Rico Penzkofer of Germany, 5th at Macau last year, with Mocha BMW, and Luis Carreira, 8th in 2009, with Benimoto Suzuki Cetelem. Two Portuguese riders making their Macau debuts are Fernando Costo, on a Clube Motorizado do Troco MV Augusta, and Tiago Dias on an HM Racing Team Suzuki.

From North America, Macau regular Mark Miller will partner Penzkofer at Mocha BMW, while Jeremy Toye, 9th in Macau last year, will race a Lee's Cycles BMW. The pair are joined by newcomers Sean Dwyer, 32, of Palm Beach Gardens, USA, who will make his Macau debut on a Vicious Cycle Racing Suzuki, and Canadian Chris Peris, 24, on an Iron Horse BMW ESP.

Joining Fernandes in flying the flag for Macau are Sou Sio Hong and Ip Weng Keong, both riding Hondas. From Hong Kong, come Cheung Wai On, competing for the first time at Macau on a Superbike, and Chow Ho Wan.

For the first time, the entire field will be made of 1000cc superbikes, with the 600 Supersport category dropped in the interests of safety.

-source: mgp