Silverstone hosts the British MotoGP, with the sport still recovering from the shock of reigning world champion Valentino Rossi being ruled out for several months by a leg injury.
Seven-time champion Rossi suffered a nasty crash during practice ahead of the Italian MotoGP two weeks ago, suffering a broken right leg which is likely to see him miss the remainder of the season.
A defiant Rossi is determined to return to racing when he is fully fit, with his father, Graziano, commenting: "He needs to recover fully before returning.
"It could be one month, it could be five, it isn't important. He is in no rush."
That blow has left Rossi's Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo as the hot online betting favourite to take the title for the first time, having been denied by the Italian great last season.
Spaniard Lorenzo has won two of the four races to date this time around, although last time out he had to settle for second place behind compatriot Dani Pedrosa in Italy.
That result left Lorenzo 25 points clear of Pedrosa at the top of the standings, with the title looking very much like a two-horse race already.
Lorenzo, the undoubted great young hope in the sport, has yet to finish outside the top two in any race this season and that sort of consistency gives him the edge over Honda rival Pedrosa.
A major disappointment so far this season has been 2007 world champion Casey Stoner, who was dogged by illness for much of last season.
He was expected to be a major contender this time around, but has crashed out twice in four races, leaving team-mate Nicky Hayden as the leading Ducati man.
Stoner may be boosted by the fact that he has won the British race twice in the last three years, but those were both at Donington, as was last year's race which was won by Andrea Dovizioso - who is fourth in the current standings after three third-placed finishes in four races.
This time around the British MotoGP returns to Silverstone for the first time since 1986, meaning that this represents a new challenge for all the riders on show.
The weather is also likely to be a factor with rain often in the air at this time of year, but even if that is the case, Lorenzo and Pedrosa are likely to be the men to beat.