Max Biaggi's title defence has yet to really burst into life, but the Italian will look to capitalise on home field advantage this weekend.
The Italian has yet to stand on the top step of a World Superbike podium in 2011 as Carlos Checa has dominated the early stages of the season.
Checa beat the reigning champion into second place on both occasions in Australia before doing likewise last time out in Assen, giving him 33 point lead at the top of the standings.
So can Biaggi start the fight back at Monza? The Alitalia Aprilia rider was unstoppable 12 months ago as he did the double with two superb rides from pole position.
The RSV4 Factory machine came into its' own around the high speed circuit and will surely figure at the sharp end this weekend.
In his first year in World Superbikes, Marco Melandri will also relish the opportunity to compete in front of his home crowd, and the Yamaha rider enters this weekend four points behind Biaggi with a win already under his belt. Teammate Eugene Laverty will also fancy his chances after taking World Supersport victory here last year.
Jonathan Rea is also in contention after claiming Castrol Honda's first victory of the year at Assen but will be keen to banish the memories of last year after crashing out of the lead battle in race one.
The last time Leon Haslam visited Monza, he brought with him a comfortable championship lead, but things haven't gone to plan for the BMW Motorrad rider this term. Like his 2010 title rival, the Briton is winless so far and will hope for a return to form this weekend.
British fans will also be pleased to see the return of James Toseland. The Yorkshireman has missed the last two events with a fractured wrist and will be back on board the BMW S1000 RR this weekend.
2011 World Superbike Championship: The Season So Far: