PBM Hoping For More Macau Grand Prix Succes

Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM) head out to the Far East this week hoping for more success at the 45th annual City of Dreams Macau Grand Prix which takes place on Saturday around the 6.12km Circuito Da Guia.

Team owner Paul Bird has assembled a trio of riders for his IGT Kawasaki Racing Team in the bid to add to the team's victory of last year in the hands of Stuart Easton which added to the one a decade ago with John McGuinness.

Despite Easton being injured this year and unable to compete, the Penrith businessman has still assembled a team with a truly international flavour aboard the factory-backed Kawasaki ZX-10Rs and they look well placed to add to the tally.

Ulsterman Michael Dunlop makes his Macau debut but after a strong showing this season which has seen him win at the Isle of Man TT and Ulster Grand Prix, the 22-year-old from Ballymoney is expected to challenge the regular front-runners from the off.

Manxman Conor Cummins returns to Macau for the fifth time and the 25-year-old from Ramsey is hoping he can go one better than his runner-up placing in 2009. Now back to full fitness following his crash at the 2010 TT, Cummins is well placed to clinch his first Macau victory this time.

Joining the two British riders is American Jeremy Toye who makes the trip over from San Diego whereby the 40-year-old Californian will be looking for a repeat of his podium placing last year at very least for the Cumbrian team.

Paul Bird, Team Owner:  "Having won the race for the past three years, it's a shame Stuart couldn't defend his title but in his absence, we're pretty well placed to challenge for the win I feel. Conor is ready to step up to the plate again after his big TT crash and has the experience round here and Jeremy is capable of a podium for sure, as he proved last year. Michael won't take long to learn the place and he's not come here to make up the numbers so I think the established riders might be in for a bit of a surprise."

Practice gets underway at 07.30 local time (GMT + 8 hours) on Thursday with first qualifying at 15.50. The second qualifying session starts at 07.30 on Friday with Saturday's 07.30 warm-up followed by the 15-lap race at 15.30.