The MCE British Superbike Championship will venture outside of the United Kingdom for the first time in five years after it was confirmed Assen in the Netherlands will host an event in 2012.

Retaining the 12-round format, including the 3 'Title Showdown' rounds that will conclude the season, the 2012 series will begin, as usual, on Easter Bank Holiday weekend at Brands Hatch on 6-9 April, before taking in events at Thruxton, Oulton Park, Snetterton and Knockhill.

A return to Oulton Park beckons for round six, followed by the summer Brands Hatch event, which has been brought forward to 20-22 July to avoid a clash with the 2012 London Olympics. Cadwell Park and Donington Park will then hold the crucial events prior to the three-round 'Showdown'.

However, it is the decision to include a round at Assen that represents the most notable change on the 2012 calendar, the famous Dutch circuit set to open the 'Showdown' format as a challenge for the many riders who have not competed there before.

The first time BSB has left British shores since it last visited Mondello Park in Ireland in 2007, Assen has been included on the calendar in an effort to extend the series' Continental popularity whilst retaining access for fans wishing to make the trip.

Following Assen, Silverstone and Brands Hatch will conclude the 2012 season, the final round taking place on 12-14th October.

"The 2012 BSB calendar is the strongest ever and this is a tribute to the extraordinary health of BSB amidst tough economic conditions that are a major challenge to many other series," said MSV chief executive Jonathan Palmer.

"It has always been a priority for MSVR to drive down the costs of competing in BSB with sport-leading technical regulations whilst driving up the quality of the show. As a result BSB is becoming ever more attractive to manufacturers, teams, riders, sponsors, circuits and fans, which means 2012 is likely to be BSB's best year yet."

2012 MCE British Superbike Calendar

1. 6/7/8/9 April - Brands Hatch Indy
2. 13/14/15 April - Thruxton
3. 5/6/7 May - Oulton Park International
4. 25/26/27 May - Snetterton 300
5. 22/23/24 June - Knockhill
6. 6/7/8 July - Oulton Park International
7. 20/21/22 July - Brands Hatch GP
8. 25/26/27 August - Cadwell Park
9. 7/8/9 September - Donington Park

2012 MCE British Superbike Championship Showdown events

10. 21/22/23 September - TT Circuit Assen (Netherlands)
11. 28/29/30 September - Silverstone GP
12. 12/13/14 October - Brands Hatch GP

The unveiling of the 2012 MCE British Superbike calendar confirms that Croft has been removed to make way for Assen.