It's been a week of positives and negatives for the British Superbike Championship, but while defending champion Honda's decision to withdraw from the series remains an inescapable blow, the 2014 grid looks strong with four months to go before the Brands Hatch curtain raiser.

Stung by Samsung's decision to withdraw its title backing after two years and left with few convincing rider options befitting of a championship-winning bike, while Honda's move is certainly disappointing, its absence doesn't quite diminish what already looks a convincing grid ahead of Christmas.

Of course, prior to Honda's announcement, Paul Bird Motorsport reaffirmed its commitment to BSB - having raised some doubts towards the end of the 2013 season - with its 2012 champion Shane Byrne and Stuart Easton teaming up once again in what will undoubtedly be the team to beat in Honda's absence.

It brings the number of confirmed entries to 17, with all-but-two of the top 15 from 2013 having secured rides for 2014 (assuming new champion Lowes is WSBK-bound with Suzuki)

Perhaps the most significant statistic as it stands, however, is the dominance of Kawasaki as the preferred option for teams. Currently, of those 17 entries, there are two Yamahas, two Suzukis, one Ducati, one BMW, not a single Honda and 11 Kawasakis. It's quite the turnaround for a manufacturer that struggled for podiums as recently as 2011...

That said, Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki's biggest rivals are still likely to come from elsewhere, particularly Tyco Suzuki, who welcome back fan favourite and 2011 runner-up John Hopkins following his injury-determined hiatus, while Milwaukee Yamaha have lured an exciting pairing in Tommy Bridewell and Josh Brookes.

Elsewhere, Title Showdown contender James Westmoreland will continue pedalling the Buildbase BMW and Jakub Smrz reunited with Ducati on the Millsport-backed machine.

However, they face a year battling through the Kawasaki masses with entries from Quattro Plant, GBmoto, Gearlink, Tsingtao WK, TAG Racing, Morello Services PBR and SBK City Racing bolstering the ranks.

Current 2014 British Superbike entry list

3. Josh Brookes AUS Milwaukee Yamaha
4. Dan Linfoot GBR Quattro Plant Kawasaki
5. Stuart Easton GBR Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki
9. Chris Walker GBR GBmoto Kawasaki
10. Jon Kirkham GBR Tsingtao WK Kawasaki
12. Josh Waters AUS Tyco Suzuki
15. Ben Wilson GBR Gearlink Kawasaki
21. John Hopkins USA Tyco Suzuki
27. James Westmoreland GBR Buildbase BMW
43. Howie Mainwaring GBR Quattro Plant Kawasaki
45. Rhalf Lo Turco BRZ SBK City Racing Kawasaki
46. Tommy Bridewell GBR Milwaukee Yamaha
47. Richard Cooper GBR TAG Kawasaki
55. Peter Baker GBR Morello Services PBR Kawasaki
67. Shane Byrne GBR Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki
77. James Ellison GBR GBmoto Kawasaki
96. Jakub Smrz CZE Millsport Ducati


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