It's been another long, cold winter without any motorcycle racing to warm the cockles, but this weekend sees the World Superbike Championship roar back into action to kick off what promises to be an exciting year of two-wheel competition.
Once again, Phillip Island assumes duties as the 2012 opener, the popular Melbourne circuit usually offering a welcome dose of sun and blue sky to set the tone for the year.
As ever, the winter period has been a hive of activity and though we have lost a formidable competitor in Yamaha, we actually start the season with 24 full-time riders – two more than at the start of last season.
But with testing getting underway later than usual, just days before the start of the 2012 season, identifying a title pick for the year ahead hasn't been so simple.
So far, reigning champion Carlos Checa
has been the most consistently fast rider, but the man himself is playing down his hopes on the 6kg heavier Althea Ducati, while we only have Phillip Island – a traditional Checa/Ducati stronghold - as a reference point.
As such, you may be tempted with the likes of Max Biaggi, Jonathan Rea or Leon Haslam, each of which remain with their respective Aprilia, Honda and BMW teams for this season, or fancy a punt on Eugene Laverty, Marco Melandri or Leon Camier, who take to Aprilia, BMW and Suzuki machinery for the first time in 2012.
Maybe you're brave enough to opt for a leftfield choice like John Hopkins, Hiroshi Aoyama and Tom Sykes, though the latter's excellent pace during pre-season testing for Kawasaki suggests he could be more than an outsider this year.
If anything, the spread of quality on this year's grid is higher than ever, so choosing a favourite is no easy task. Nonetheless, we are asking you to put your money where your mouth is and reveal your predicted title winner.
Last year voted Biaggi as the pre-season favourite ahead of eventual winner Checa and Rea, so who will you be choosing this year…?
To submit your vote, simply CLICK HERE