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Bumper grid set for Silverstone showdown

Silverstone is set to play host to the largest, most varied MCE British Superbike grid of the season following a number of changes between rounds.

A total of 30 riders are due to compete in the penultimate round of the season, equalling the number of participants that raced at Oulton Park earlier in the year.

However, on this occasion, there will be six manufacturers competing following the return of Michael Rutter on a Ducati, while the STP-JHS MV Agusta will also be present to join regulars Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki and Kawasaki.

Having already competed with four different manufacturers in what has been a stuttered season thus far, Rutter returns to the bike on which he enjoyed race winning success last year. Competing under the Bathams banner, the 1098 has been bought from former employer Alistair Kennedy.

Former Hydrex Honda rider Karl Harris is another to be embarking on a change of bike, following a difficult outing on a Rob Mac Yamaha at Croft. 'The Bomber' has penned a deal to complete the season with SMT Honda, themselves returning with a new sponsor following a mid-season sabbatical.

Another to skip a handful of rounds this year, Jentin Yamaha are also back, this time with Maxxis refugee David Johnson taking the place of Chris Burns, who last appeared on the bike at Brands Hatch.

There will be debutants on the grid too, with Alastair Seeley and Dan Linfoot making a respective switch from the Superstock and Supersport classes.

Despite enduring an injury interrupted season, Linfoot's fine debut year in the Supersport category has been rewarded with a run out on the Rob Mac-prepared Node4 Yamaha.

It is Seeley's arrival, however, that will be watched with a close eye having been sent out on a Relentless Suzuki configured to new 'Evo' specifications. New regulations announced this week will blur the boundaries between Superbike and Superstock and Seeley will be the first to test its viability in a competitive arena before its full debut next season.

Elsewhere, Glen Richards makes his long-awaited return from injury on the HM Plant Honda, while Red Viper Honda return with Aaron Zanotti having missed Croft and David Haire takes up Kenny Gilbertson's place on the Jx Fuelcard Kawasaki.



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Michael Rutter [pic credit: Clive Challinor]
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