The new era of World Superbike racing will kick off with 25 participants entered for the opening round of the 2014 season at Phillip Island, it has been confirmed.

A raft of technical and sporting regulation changes have been introduced for 2014 in an effort to cut costs, increase grid numbers and improve the show, including engine caps, the introduction of the stock-inspired EVO class and a new qualifying format.

In terms of grid numbers, the technical regulations have done their bit to improve in this area with 25 riders listed to compete at the Phillip Island opener in just over a week's time. Eliminating wild-card entries - of which there are none this year -, the grid is the largest seen for a WSBK curtain raiser since 2009 and improves upon the 19 full-time riders that started last year.

Much of this has been attributed to the introduction of the EVO class, which will see ten entrants at the opening round across Kawasaki, Ducati and BMW machinery, though the arrival of MV Agusta and Erik Buell Racing as new manufacturers means the 15-strong championship class has been bolstered too.

Absent from the Phillip Island entry list, however, is the prospective Alstare Bimota team. The EVO outfit, which is set to run Ayrton Badovini and Christian Iddon, is yet to pass homologation, though it was always expected to delay its debut until the second round at Aragon in April.

The new Tissot-Superpole format, meanwhile, will mirror that of MotoGP, where the top twenty riders from FP1, FP2 and FP3 will progress to Superpole. From here, the ten fastest riders will progress automatically to Superpole 2, with the 11th to 20th fastest riders participating in Superpole 1.

The fastest two riders in Superpole 1 will then join the remaining ten riders in Superpole 2 to contest pole position and the front four rows.

Phillip Island WSBK entry list

1. Tom SykesGBR Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R
7. Chaz DaviesGBR Ducati SBK 1199R
9. Fabien ForetFRA MAHI Kawasaki ZX-10R (E)
10. Imre TothHUN BMW Team Toth S1000RR
11. Jeremy GuarnoniFRA MRS Kawasaki ZX-10R (E)
20. Aaron YatesUSA Team Hero EBR 1190RX
21. Alessandro AndreozziITA Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R (E)
22. Alex LowesGBR Voltcom Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000
23. Luca ScassaITA Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R (E)
24. Toni EliasESP Red Devils Roma Aprilia RSV4
32. Sheridan MoraisRSA IRON BRAIN Kawasaki ZX-10R (E)
33. Marco MelandriITA Aprilia Racing RSV4
34. Davide GiuglianoITA Ducati SBK 1199R
44. David SalomESP Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R (E)
52. Sylvain BarrierFRA BMW Italia S1000RR (E)
56. Peter SebestyenHUN BMW Team Toth S1000RR (E)
58. Eugene LavertyIRL Voltcom Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000
59. Niccolo CanepaITA Althea Ducati 1199R (E)
65. Jonathan ReaGBR Pata Honda CBR1000RR
50. Sylvain GuintoliFRA Aprilia Racing RSV4
71. Claudio CortiITA MV Agusta RC Yakhnich F4RR
76. Loris BazFRA Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R
84. Michel FabrizioITA IRON BRAIN Kawasaki ZX-10R (E)
91. Leon HaslamGBR Pata Honda CBR1000RR
99. Geoff MayUSA Team Hero EBR 1190RX

(E) denotes EVO class entry



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