Michael Rutter, six-time champion at Macau and runner-up in 2010, tops an enticing line-up of past winners and exciting newcomers for the City of Dreams Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix. Going all out to capture a record-breaking seventh Macau win, Rutter will be on board a Team of Paris 1200cc Ducati.
Amongst a number of newcomers for 2011 are two members of the legendary Northern Irish motorcycling Dunlop family – brothers Michael and William. Sons of the late Robert Dunlop, winner at Macau in 1989, and nephews of the late Joey Dunlop OBE, the pair will make their debuts on the Guia Circuit competing for different teams.
Michael, 23, who is the fastest Dunlop around the Isle of Man TT course and who won the 2009 Supersport TT there, will compete with the Kawasaki Racing Team at Macau. Brother William, 26, who, like his brother, has won races at the North West 200, will be aboard a Wilson Craig Honda 1000cc.
After last year becoming the first American rider for a decade to stand on the Macau Grand Prix podium, Jeremy Toye has set his sights on the top step this time around. As part of a record five-strong USA entry for Macau, Toye will partner Britons Michael Dunlop and Manxman Conor Cummins on the Kawasaki Racing Team.
Joining Toye from the USA are fan favourites Mark Miller with Splitlath Motorsport, Michael Barnes (Attack Performance Kawasaki), and Sean Dwyer (Locust-Lee’s Cycle BMW). Twenty-year-old AMA American Superbike Series rider Chris Clark will make his Macau debut this year with the Yes-Pcs-Graves Yamaha team. The Las Vegas-born Clark was the 2008 recipient of the AMA Horizon Award.
Briton John McGuinness (Roadhouse SMT Honda), sixth last year, will look to add a second Macau win to his racing CV exactly 10 years after he first stood atop the podium in 2001.
Another Macau favourite, Ian Hutchinson, is targeting a racing return at Macau next month after a major leg injury at Silverstone in September last year. Hutchinson made history just months before the incident at the Isle of Man TT when he won five races in a week. The 32-year-old plans to make his racing comeback on the Guia Circuit with Swan Yamaha.
Representing Europe is the penz13.com duo of Horst Saiger of Austria and Rico Penzkofer of Germany, both on BMWs, along with Penzkofer’s compatriot Didier Grams on a Team Heidger-Motorsport.de Suzuki. Czech rider Michal Dokoupil returns to Macau on a DMR Racing BMW, while Portugal is represented by Nuno Caetano on an HM Racing Team Suzuki and Tiago Magalhaes on a Motodesacelera Kawasaki.
Partnering Rutter and Briton Martin Jessopp at Team of Paris is Joao Fernandes on a BMW who is joined by fellow Macau racer Sou Sio Hong on a Honda flying the flag for the SAR.
Bruce Anstey of New Zealand, winner of seven Isle of Man TT races and aboard a Padgetts Honda in Macau, brings the number of nations and territories represented to eight on this truly international entry of two-wheel heroes.
Winner of the event for the last three years, Briton Stuart Easton, will not be taking to the track in November after sustaining serious injuries in this year’s North West 200. However, fans will be pleased to learn Easton continues his miraculous recovery, returning home in August, and could even be back in action as early as next season.
For the second year, the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix will also be the season finale for the Duke Road Race Rankings, a series which recognizes season-long performance on the world’s premier road circuits. Heading into Macau, William and Michael Dunlop are second and third in the standings, respectively.