As the World Superbike championship moves into Spain at the start of the European leg of the series, Suzuki's Troy Corser and Yukio Kagayama have already accumulated the lion's share of points. Will the defending champion (and last year's winner), James Toseland, have a better run of luck this weekend?

As the World Superbike championship moves into Spain at the start of the European leg of the series, Suzuki's Troy Corser and Yukio Kagayama have already accumulated the lion's share of points. Will the defending champion (and last year's winner), James Toseland, have a better run of luck this weekend?

Many of this season's main competitors have already recorded wins at the Valencia circuit in Spain but, after two rounds, the Suzuki pairing of Corser and Kagayama share most of the points. The unstoppable twosome recently dominated in testing at Qatar, and Corser has recorded three wins this season, with his team-mate celebrating a single victory.

Their closest competitor, Regis Laconi, is last season's runner-up and already has two podium finishes this season. Team-mate James Toseland has had a dreadful start to the season and is currently placed at an unusual number eight on the driver's championship table.

Toseland has suffered some misfortune and high-speed crashes leading up to Valencia but, as the last year's winner, he could be in a race to save his honour on Sunday.

Charismatic Chris Vermeulen and German rookie Max Neukirchner, the two top Honda riders thus far in the championship, are set to battle it out yet again. Neukirchner, a newcomer to WSBK, recently celebrated his 22nd birthday.

Neukirchner's team-mate and the most experienced rider in the championship, Pierfrancesco Chili, is suffering from a broken collarbone. However the veteran has decided to join the starting line-up at the popular Valencia circuit.

Vermeulen's team-mate, reigning WSS champion, Karl Muggeridge, has not had the best of luck since joining the premier championship, and will be looking forward to racing at a track where he has already tested this season.

Thanks to four strong rides, Japanese rider Norick Abe is sixth ahead of former WSS champion, Andre Pitt, whose hard riding style and commitment have been impressive. Abe's team-mate, Sebastien Gimbert, was exceptional in pre-season testing. However, the Frenchman has failed to impress under race conditions in the past two rounds, and is hoping to make up for lost time this weekend.

Spanish rookies Jose Luis Cardoso and Fonsi Nieto will be looking to score in front of their adoring home crowd after Nieto finished fifth in the aggregate race at Phillip Island to secure his top ten spot. Carduso is yet to score any championship points.

Garry McCoy and Steve Martin will pilot a more competitive three-cylinder Petronas machine this weekend. The bike has undergone further engine developments, and with a higher revving motor and a new exhaust system, the team hopes to be competitive at all parts of the circuit.

In World Supersport, Winston Ten Kate Honda rider Sebastien Charpentier was victorious at Phillip Island, taking the lead in the championship from his team-mate, Katsuaki Fujiwara. However, Yamaha Motor Germany rider Kevin Curtain has been a strong force throughout the early championship stages. Team Italia Megabike Honda runners Fabien Foret and Michel Fabrizio are another talented pairing who should give the fans something to cheer about on Sunday.