Hockenheim, like Monza is a power circuit with long blasts punctuated with tight, fiddly chicanes. It is not uncommon to see a train of ten to twelve bikes towing each other around the 4.2 mile German Grand Prix circuit where keeping momentum is of premium importance. One mistake entering or exiting a corner could see a rider left out of the slipstream and plummeting down the order.

The main struggle that most team's have to contend with is finding the right suspension and balance set-up for the bikes which compromise the fast straight's and slow twisty sections. Tyres normally wear heavily under the constant switch from major acceleration away from one chicane to the heavy braking as the riders come off the throttle on the flat out straight's back into the following chicane.

Of the factory team's, Honda showed that at Monza they had the best overall package as Colin Edwards dominated proceedings for most of the weekend, taking fastest times in qualifying, Superpole and the win in race two. Only Suzuki's Frankie Chili could live with the American, the veteran Italian denying Edwards a possible double by passing him into the last corner to win race one.

Edwards has now taken over the championship lead from Noriyuki Haga who is racing with the threat of a suspension looming large over his head. The Yamaha rider failed his second drugs test of the season before Monza and could face a three month ban if the FIM take a strict course of action.

Chili has moved to within one point of Haga in the championship after Monza and with the Suzuki proving to be powerful as well as reliable, Chili knows that this year may be his best ever chance to take the World crown. The Suzuki showed real pace at Monza, culminating in a new lap record for Chili in race one as he chased down Edwards.

One thing Chili doesn't have in his favour however is back up. Aaron Slight, in the second factory Honda rode courageously in both races to remain in contention for the final podium place in both races. In just his second meeting back after brain surgery Slight has moved himself into a position to support Edwards in his title run. Katsuaki Fujiwara, in the second factory Suzuki is still proving to be a major disappointment in World Superbikes and was hardly seen in the top ten throughout the Monza weekend, finishing eleventh and ninth in the two races.

Kawasaki left Monza with mixed emotions. On the good side, Akira Yanagawa was on the pace all weekend and claimed a brace of third place finishes. The Japanese rider is showing no ill effects from his broken collarbone sustained in South Africa. Gregorio Lavilla, however will miss the next four to six weeks after breaking his pelvis in his race two accident. Lavilla had been performing well all year and had been a consistent points finisher. The team have yet to announce the Spaniard's replacement for Hockenheim.

Perhaps the biggest surprise to come out of Monza was the performance of Troy Bayliss. The Australian, substituting for Carl Fogarty had next to nothing in terms of track and bike knowledge and yet he brought the bike home in fourth place in both races, leading race two for a short while. The Australian will miss Hockenheim as he is committed to riding in the American National championship leaving Ducati to test John Kocinski and Neil Hodgson at Misano on Wednesday to decide who will partner Ben Bostrom. Bostrom finally showed some speed at Monza finishing both races inside the top ten but he will still be disappointed at being beaten by Bayliss who has far less experience on the bike than him.

The factory Aprilia of Troy Corser qualified well in second position at Monza but it was apparent to all that the black and orange bike still lacks something in the horsepower department as Corser struggled to keep pace with the leaders. Team-mate Alessandro Antonello rode well at his home circuit to record a pair of points finishes. However with Monza and Hockenheim sharing many similarities it could be another frustrating weekend for Corser.

Anthony Gobert in the singleton Bimota entry will once again ride with the painful injuries he suffered in his horrific crash at Sugo. Gobert suffered a nightmare weekend at Monza, finishing a despondent 22nd in race one and retiring in race two. Gobert suffered a broken collarbone, a broken hand, a crushed foot and a nasty burn to one of his legs when he caught it on the red-hot brake disk. Despite this, Gobert remains upbeat about the Bimota which is still in early stages of development.

Of the privateers, John Reynolds will again be present on his Reve Red Bull Ducati in what is a very important weekend for the energy drink company. Reynolds will be eager to show the full potential of the bike after two disappointing outings at Donington Park. Fellow Ducati privateers Robert Ulm and Andy Meklau also showed well at Monza, both riders scoring a top ten finish.

It is unlikely that Colin Edwards will be allowed the same amount of freedom that he enjoyed at Monza. Frankie Chili knows that the Suzuki can win on speed tracks while Aaron Slight will be eager to prove that he still has what it takes to win at the highest level. Whether Slight will be asked to support his team-mate or not remains to be seen, whether Slight obeys his team in such an eventuality is another matter.