The start of the 2014 World Superbike Championship may be just around the corner, but there is still two months to go until the British Superbike Championship fires into action at Brands Hatch.
Despite this, the BSB 2014 is already shaping up to be something of a thriller if the provisional entry list is anything to go by with 26 riders already confirmed for a full-time participation.
Though the decision by defending champions Honda Racing to favour a sabbatical over a full season campaign without a top level rider means that, at present, there are just two examples of the title winning CBR1000RR listed to compete this year, there remains impressive depth elsewhere.
Kawasaki utterly dominates the entry list with at least 15 ZX-10Rs across ten teams set to line up for the opening round at Brands Hatch, most notably former champions Rapid Solicitors, but also GBmoto – switching from Honda -, existing customers Quattro Plant, Halsall Racing and PR Racing, Supersport graduates TAG Racing, Gearlink and Tsingtao WK, and newcomers SBK City and Morello Services SBK.
Elsewhere, Suzuki will continue to place its emphasis on its premier representative in Tyco TAS Racing, while Yamaha will support both Milwaukee and new entry FFX, which has a YZF-R1 for Isle of Man TT legend Ian Hutchinson.
In addition, BMW will be represented by Buildbase once more having signed former champion and Honda-stalwart Ryuichi Kiyonari in one of the more intriguing off-season developments, while Ducati is currently listed as a solo entry for former WSBK front runner Jakub Smrz on a Millsport-prepared 1199 Panigale.
As mentioned previously, the two Hondas listed to compete at present is the machine belonging to Jenny Tinmouth (TWR) and series returnee Simon Andrews on the RAF Reserves-backed bike, though Honda Racing says it will retain some presence in BSB this year with selected outings for Frenchman Julien Da Costa ahead of a full comeback in 2015.
Current 2014 British Superbike entry list
3. Josh Brookes AUS
4. Dan Linfoot GBR
Quattro Plant Kawasaki
5. Stuart Easton GBR
Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki
6. Simon Andrews GBR/i> RAF Reserves Honda
8. Ian Hutchinson GBR FFX Yamaha
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
20. Jenny Tinmouth GBR TWR Honda
21. John Hopkins USA Tyco Suzuki
23. Ryuichi Kiyonari JPN Buildbase BMW
27. James Westmoreland GBR Buildbase BMW
35. Mitchell Carr AUS Anvil Hire TAG Kawasaki
39. Lee Costello GBR/i> Halsall Kawasaki
40. Martin Jessopp GBR RidersMotorcycles 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 Anvil Hire TAG Kawasaki
50. Harry Hartley GBR/i> Halsall 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
303. Keith Farmer GBR/i> PR Kawasaki
Julien Da Costa FRA Honda Racing
Michael Dunlop GBR Buildbase BMW