The entry list for the 2011 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship shows an impressive 38 riders from eight different nations are set to line-up on the grid for the Brands Hatch season-opener on April 22-25.

American John Hopkins will make his eagerly anticipated BSB debut with Samsung Crescent Racing at the event, but will first return to the MotoGP World Championship this weekend in Spain as a substitute for the factory Suzuki team.

Hopkins finished fourth for the team in the 2007 MotoGP Championship and he deputises for the injured Alvaro Bautista at Jerez. Reigning National Superstock 1000 champion Jon Kirkham completes the Crescent line-up.

For the first time since 2007 there will be a defending champion as Japanese ace Ryuichi Kiyonari continues his quest to become the most successful BSB rider of all time by chasing a fourth BSB title.

HM Plant Honda has former double champion Shane 'Shakey' Byrne joining him this season and expectation is high for the pair following pre-season testing.

Australian Josh Brookes finished second in last year's title chase while riding alongside Kiyonari at Honda; he has switched to the Relentless Suzuki by TAS team, which looked set to lead the GSX-R title attack this year as the lone factory-backed Suzuki entry... until Crescent pulled off the Hopkins deal.

Tommy Hill suffered heartbreak at the end of 2010 for Suzuki, and - alongside Byrne - offers the best pre-season chance of a home grown champion. Hill has switched to Swan Yamaha and been very impressive in the Spanish pre-season tests.

Michael Laverty, his team-mate, pushed him all the way and he will want to beat Hill to become the first Yamaha rider to win a BSB race since 2009. However, Motorpoint Yamaha's young-guns Frenchman Loris Baz and James Westmoreland will want to upset the form guide in their first full season of BSB.

The leading Kawasaki team of Stuart Easton and Gary Mason have the all-new Ninja ZX-10R for this season and the Colchester-based team are determined to have a real attack on the title this year.
BMW is the seventh manufacturer represented in BSB with six riders led by the Buildbase BMW team of Northern Irish duo John Laverty and Ian Lowry.

The Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati team uphold the honour of the Italian marque in the hands of the most experienced rider on the grid in terms of BSB race starts, Michael Rutter who will be gunning for glory alongside Martin Jessopp.

Jenny Tinmouth will become the first female racer in the history of BSB for the Splitlath Aprilia team at Brands Hatch and her reputation is on the line against her male counterparts.

The Mirror.co.uk BSB Evo class has also expanded to 15 riders after its inauguration last year.

Moto Rapido Ducati's Scott Smart was the final rider confirmed to contest the full season as he makes a return to the premier class, whilst former British Supersport and National Superstock champion Glen Richards is back in BSB with the WFR Honda team.

2011 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship - Entry List

#1 Ryuichi Kiyonari (Japan) HM Plant Honda - BSB
#2 Josh Brookes (Australia) Relentless Suzuki by TAS - BSB
#3 Stuart Easton (Hawick) MSS Colchester Kawasaki - BSB
#4 Dan Linfoot (Wetherby) Sorrymate.com Honda - BSB
#5 Ian Lowry (Moira) Buildbase BMW - BSB
#6 Michael Rutter (Brierley Hill) Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati - BSB
#7 Michael Laverty (Toomebridge) Swan Yamaha - BSB
#8 John Laverty (Toombridge) Buildbase BMW - BSB
#9 Chris Walker (Nottingham) PR1MO Racing Kawasaki - BSB
#10 Jon Kirkham (Derby) Samsung Crescent Racing - Suzuki - BSB
#12 Josh Day (Cirencester) AIR Racing Kawasaki - EVO
#17 Simon Andrews (Evesham) PR Racing Kawasaki - EVO
#19 Steve Brogan (Liverpool) Jentin Honda- BSB
#20 Tom Tunstall (Huddersfield) Doodson Honda - EVO
#21 John Hopkins (USA) Samsung Crescent Racing - Suzuki - BSB
#22 Alex Lowes (Lincoln) Team WFR Honda - EVO
#24 Patric Muff (Switzerland) Tyco Honda - EVO
#25 Dennis Hobbs (Guisborough) Hobbs Racing BMW - EVO
#27 James Westmoreland (Hull) Motorpoint Yamaha - BSB
#33 Tommy Hill (Lingfield) Swan Yamaha - BSB
#37 James Hillier (Ringwood) Bournemouth Kawasaki - EVO
#40 Martin Jessopp (Yeovil) Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati - BSB
#45 Glen Richards (Australia) Team WFR Honda - EVO
#46 Tommy Bridewell (Devizes) Tyco Honda - BSB
#55 Dan Kneen (Bradden) Marks Bloom Kawasaki - EVO
#56 Hudson Kennaugh (South Africa) Splitlath Motorsport Aprilia - BSB
#60 Peter Hickman (Louth) Tyco Honda - BSB
#64 Aaron Zanotti (Loughborough) AZR - BMW - EVO
#65 Loris Baz (France) Motorpoint Yamaha - BSB
#67 Shane Byrne (Sittingbourne) HM Plant Honda - BSB
#75 Craig Fitzpatrick (Derby) Close Print Finance Honda - EVO
#77 Barry Burrell (Bishop Auckland) Buildbase BMW - EVO
#78 Mateo Mossa (Italy) 777 Motorsport Suzuki - EVO
#79 Nick Medd (York) Boss D&B BMW - BSB
#81 Graeme Gowland (Hexham) Team WFR Honda - EVO
#88 Scott Smart (Maidstone) Motorapido Ducati - EVO
#100 Jenny Tinmouth (Ellesmere Port) Splitlath Motorsport Aprilia - BSB
#101 Gary Mason (Litchfield) MSS Colchester Kawasaki - BSB

Classes:

BSB - denotes motorcycle complies with the full BSB technical regulations which are identical to the FIM Superbike World Championship, highly tuned engines and sophisticated electronics.

EVO - denotes motorcycle complies with the BSB-EVO technical regulations which utilises near standard engines and controlled electronics.