With less than two months to go before the start of the new World Supersport season, 2011 grid numbers look set to surpass those of 2010.

A flurry of announcements in recent weeks have increased the provisional number of full-time competitors to 18 - one more than those that lined up on the grid at the Phillip Island opener in 2010.

With the top three riders from 2010 moving on in 2011 - Kenan Sofuoglu to Moto2 and Eugene Laverty and Joan Lascorz to World Superbikes -, the highest placed returnee will be Chaz Davies, who will start a second full-season with Triumph. The British manufacturer is reducing its line-up from four to two riders this year, with WSBK standout Luca Scassa joining Davies in the team.

Reigning champions Ten Kate Honda will field an all-French line-up with Fabien Foret returning to team he won the WSS title with some nine years ago. He is paired with Florian Marino, who steps up from the Superstock 600 series.

Having finished runner-up in 2009 and 2010, Parkalgar Honda are going all out to ensure they go one better this season with an expanded four-man team. Highly-rated British Supersport Champion Sam Lowes has a lot to live up to as Eugene Laverty's replacement and he is expected to be pushed hard by 2009 British Superbike runner-up James Ellison, who will race under the PTR Romania banner. Miguel Praia and Robert Muresan will act as their respective team-mates.

Following his star turn on the ZX-6R towards the end of the 2010 season, Broc Parkes returns to Supersport for a full campaign with Kawasaki, alongside David Salom, who switches from Triumph.

Elsewhere, Yamaha is set to return to the grid with privateer outfit Bike Service Racing. Having joined the series during the second-half of 2010, Bike Service will expand to two bikes by retaining Roberto Tamburini and signing 125GP ace Luca Marconi.

Having lost Foret to Ten Kate Honda, Lorenzini Kawasaki has signed Vittorio Iannuzzo, while Honda will be further represented by Alexander Lundh (Cresto Guide), Bastien Chesaux (Harms Benjan) and Ondrej Jezek (SMS).

Meanwhile, Triumph is set to get a satellite outfit in the form of Suriano Racing, which announced it plans to join the world stage towards the end of 2010. Additionally, Puccetti Kawasaki has confirmed it will compete in selected events on this year's calendar.

Teams yet to announce their plans for 2011 include Intermoto Czech, who enjoyed success with Gino Rea and Massimo Roccoli last season.

2011 Provisional World Supersport grid

Fabien Foret - Ten Kate Honda Florian Marino - Ten Kate Honda Sam Lowes - Parkalgar Honda Miguel Praia - Parkalgar Honda James Ellison - PTR Romania Honda Robert Muresan - PTR Romania Honda Broc Parkes - Provec Kawasaki David Salom - Provec Kawasaki Chaz Davies - BE1 TriumphLuca Scassa - BE1 Triumph Roberto Tamburini - Bike Service Yamaha Luca Marconi - Bike Service Yamaha Vittorio Iannuzzo - Lorenzini by Leoni Kawasaki Alexander Lundh - Cresto Guide Honda Bastien Chesaux - Harms Benjan Honda Ondrej Jezek - SMS Honda Danilo Dell'Omo - Suriano Triumph Fabrizio Perotti - Suriano Triumph Stefano Cruciani - Puccetti Kawasaki *Mirko Giansanti - Puccetti Kawasaki *

* Not competing in a full season



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