The announcement that Max Biaggi has definitely signed to defend his World Superbike Championship crown in 2011 adds one more significant piece to the jigsaw that is next year's grid.
So far, all seven front-line manufacturer teams – provided we include Althea Racing as Ducati's flagship outfit - have been filled with the exception of Ten Kate Honda, who currently have just Jonathan Rea in its rider line-up for next season. Suzuki and Althea Ducati are set to enter just a single bike each next year, though the latter has said it could change it plans.
Elsewhere, Kawasaki have confirmed Tom Sykes will ride a ZX-10R next season, though it remains to be seen where he fits in with Chris Vermeulen and Joan Lascorz.
Away from the factory entries, the privateer contingent looks interesting with Noriyuki Haga riding an Aprilia, while new outfit Liberty Ducati have an strong pairing in Sylvain Guintoli and Jakub Smrz.
In fact, of the top fifteen riders from the 2010 standings, only James Toseland, Shane Byrne and Ruben Xaus are without a confirmed ride for next season… With several months to go before the start of the new year, there is still plenty to decide.
2011 World Superbike grid thus far:
Ten Kate Honda