The lavishly appointed venue of the Eurospeedway Lausitzring in the far East of Germany returns to the SBK calendar for the 2005 season, having hosted races on two previous occasions.
The staggering proportions of the grandstands, which ring the Indy style oval section of the track, dominate the backdrop for the tenth round of the championship, offering unrivalled aspects across the whole 4.265km circuit.
The circuit itself, one of the most tortuous on the calendar, offers riders six left and four right hand corners, plus a back straight of incomparable width and scale.
In the battle for the riders' championship, Ten Kate's Chris Vermeulen enjoyed his first double win of the 2005 season at Assen last weekend, but must win virtually all of the remaining races to seriously challenge points' leader Troy Corser.
The Suzuki star finished off the podium for the first time this season at Assen, but a pair of fourth places has kept his advantage over Vermeulen at a still solid 86-points, with a possible 150-points left for any rider who wins every race.
The pair will have two less rivals to worry about this weekend with the news that the factory Ducati Xerox team will be without their highest-placed 2005 rider, Regis Laconi
- after a nasty highside in qualifying - while PSG-1 Kawasaki rider Chris Walker
misses the race after his double arm break, caused by a collision with wild-card rider Jurgen van den Goorbergh.
Walker looks unlikely to be replaced, although team-mate Mauro Sanchini will be in attendance as usual for the PSG-1 team, but outgoing Ducati world champion James Toseland will not be alone.
That's because Lorenzo Lanzi
gets a step up to the factory team for this race at least, as Laconi heals. After some potent rides for his regular SC Caracchi Ducati team recently, and a good test at Eurospeedway Lausitzring recently on his regular 999RS, a weekend on a full factory 999F05 will be a fascinating prospect for him and the watching world.
But while Lanzi will be dreaming of a podium, one man who has had five of them in the last five races is Yamaha Motor Italia's Noriyuki Haga. With Laconi's absence, two further good rides will take him to third place overall, even before the final two races at Imola and Magny Cours in early October.