We may only be one race into the 2011 World Superbike Championship but it is already clear that reigning champion Max Biaggi is going to be a difficult man to wrestle the title away from. I'm tipping him for the title even at this early stage because he has proven over many seasons that he can consistently produce podium finishes.
So what of British hopes in 2011? Expect Tom Sykes to go much better this year with the greatly improved Kawasaki a much better track tool out of the crate. It looks as though Jonathan Rea will be able to mount a serious championship challenge aboard the proven Honda Fireblade whereas strong riders Leon Haslam and James Toseland may need more development work to come from their BMW.
British Superbike Championship
The British Championship has not yet begun but it is clear that the racing this year at the front will likely be as close as ever with Tommy Hill, Michael Laverty, Shane Byrne, Ryuichi Kiyonari, Josh Brookes and former MotoGP rider John Hopkins all in with a realistic chance of claiming the much coveted title.
Personally I believe it might be Tommy Hill's year. After coming so close last year, he proved he has the strength and consistency to battle at the front but he'll have to deal with tough competition, not least in the form of reigning and three times champion, Kiyonari who will again be riding in familar surroundings for the factory supported HM Plant Honda team.