Without Haga, Yamaha are down to one bike for Vitto Guareschi although, with limited knowledge of the track, he is not expected to be in a battle for the lead.
Kawasaki on the other hand, are full of confidence despite underperforming at Valencia. Akira Yanagawa was third in race one last year and that man Gobert won for the team in 1996. The bike is suited to the track and is both nimble and agile, the right qualities for this race track. Yanagawa was strangely off the pace last weekend and has dropped to sixth place in the points table, behind the sensational Troy Bayliss.
If Bayliss had been in the seat of the second Infostrada Ducati from the start of the year then it is highly likely that he would be fighting for the championship lead at this point. However despite being fifth in the points, Troy is determined to fight his way to the top of the table, regardless of any disadvantage he may have. One distinct advantage he does have at his disposal is the superb Ducati 996 which appears to like every single type of circuit thrown at it.
Suzuki also have reason to fell confident going into this weekend. Pierfranceso Chili says his broken collarbone is not giving him any undue hassle and will be at 100% on Sunday afternoon. The Italian veteran finished third in race two last year and is desperate to step out of the current rut of bad luck that he has found himself in.
Sadly, one man who will not be able to show off his incredible skill at this track is Gobert. Anthony will be plying his trade at Donington Park for the British round of the 500cc Grand Prix Championship while his cash strapped WSB Bimota team look for the necessary funds to continue in the series. Gobert is simply mesmeric at Laguna Seca, always the bravest of the brave and putting his bike where others don't dare. His flare will be another sorely missed element of the weekend.