Stuart Easton set to defend Macau GP crown on PBM Kawasaki

Lee Johnston on the East Coast/Burdens BMW is among the leading contenders for victory at the Macau Grand Prix.
Lee Johnston on the East Coast/Burdens BMW is among the leading contenders for victory at the Macau Grand Prix.

Scottish star Stuart Easton is gunning for a fifth victory at next month’s Suncity Group Macau Grand Prix, which takes place on November 21.

Easton returned to the event in 2014 and picked up where he left off in 2010, taking a convincing win on the PBM Kawasaki.

The Hawick rider and team-mate and 2013 winner Ian Hutchinson are among the main favourites for the legendary event in the Far East, but Fermanagh’s Lee Johnston could spring a surprise on the East Coast/Burdens BMW.

Johnston, who has had a year to remember, finished fifth last November after succumbing to sickness during the race, but had challenged Michael Rutter for second place until he fell ill.

Eight-times winner Rutter will ride a BMW for the Penz13.com outfit and is joined in the team by Gary Johnson.

Guy Martin had been confirmed on the entry list on the Tyco BMW but the organisers revealed he was a late withdrawal on Wednesday morning.

His place has been taken by RC Express Racing’s Ivan Lintin, who will make his Macau debut.

Louth’s Peter Hickman (Briggs Equipment BMW) also can’t be dismissed in his second appearance around the Guia street circuit, while Honda’s John McGuinness will be there or thereabouts once more on the trusty Fireblade.

Yeovil’s Martin Jessopp – third last year – returns on the Riders Motorcycles BMW, with Conor Cummins (Honda) another of the leading names set to make the long trip.

Saintfield’s Davy Morgan plus Brian McCormack and Michael Sweeney are also entered, plus Austrian rider Horst Saiger (Kawasaki), Steve Heneghan (Yamaha) and Ice Valley BMW pairing Paul Shoesmith and David Johnson.

Russ Mountford is a newcomer on the VRS Racing Honda.