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Battle of Britain: 38 riders for British Superbike Championship Clash

Thursday, March 31 2011

This Easter weekend (22-25 April) Brands Hatch in Kent will host the opening round of the 2011 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship as an impressive 38 riders from eight different nations line up on the grid in a bid to secure one of the most coveted titles in motorsport.

America's John Hopkins will make his eagerly anticipated BSB debut with Samsung Crescent Racing, but first he will join the MotoGP World Championship this weekend in Spain as he returns with the factory Suzuki team. Hopkins finished fourth for the team in the 2007 MotoGP Championship against riders including Valentino Rossi, and he deputises for injured Alvaro Bautista at Jerez. Reigning National Superstock 1000 champion Jon Kirkham completes the BSB team.

For the first time since 2007 there will be a defending champion as Japanese ace Ryuichi Kiyonari continues his quest to become the most successful BSB rider of all time by claiming a fourth BSB title. HM Plant Honda has former double champion Shane 'Shakey' Byrne joining him this season and expectation is high for the pair following pre-season testing.

Australian Josh Brookes finished second in last year's title chase; he has switched to the Relentless Suzuki by TAS team for this season and will not want a repeat performance in a bid to go one better this year.

Tommy Hill suffered heartbreak at the end of 2010 but determined to win back the title for Britain with the Swan Yamaha team he wants a winning performance at his home round after topping the timesheets in the Spanish pre-season test.

Michael Laverty, his team-mate, pushed him all the way and he will want to beat Hill to become the first Yamaha rider to win a race since 2009. However, Motorpoint Yamaha's young-guns Frenchman Loris Baz and James Westmoreland will want to upset the form guide in their first full season of BSB.

The leading Kawasaki team of Stuart Easton and Gary Mason have the all-new Ninja ZX-10R for this season and the Colchester-based team are determined to have a real attack on the title this year.

BMW is the seventh manufacturer represented in BSB with six riders led by the Buildbase BMW team of Northern Irish duo John Laverty and Ian Lowry.
The Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati team uphold the honour of the Italian marque in the hands of the most experienced rider on the grid in terms of BSB race starts, Michael Rutter who will be gunning for glory alongside Martin Jessopp.

Jenny Tinmouth will become the first female racer in the history of BSB for the Splitlath Aprilia team at Brands Hatch and her reputation is on the line against her male counterparts.

The Mirror.co.uk BSB Evo class has also expanded to 15 riders after its inauguration last year. Moto Rapido Ducati's Scott Smart was the final rider confirmed to contest the full season as he makes a return to the premier class, whilst former British Supersport and National Superstock champion Glen Richards is back in BSB with the WFR Honda team.

You can now book your advance tickets for the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship season opener on Easter weekend (22-25 April) at Brands Hatch by calling 0843 453 9000 or by clicking the link below.