Having won two of the races held at Laguna Seca since MotoGP's 2005 US return, Nicky Hayden is hoping for a strong showing on his Ducati debut in the 2009 event.
However, after a troubled start to his Desmosedici career, the 2006 world champion admits he has 'no big plan' of how to make the big step needed to fight at the front and is relying mainly on determination.
“We still have a lot of work to do but it has been nice to see a little progress over the last few weeks and at Laguna I really need to take another big step,” he said. “I don't have any big plan or anything - it's not that easy! All I know to do is keep trying and working at it and hope it will come.
“Laguna is a great track and very challenging. There are a few points that stick out but in general it is different to most tracks, which usually have a few different sections, whereas Laguna is basically just one section and you have to put it all together to make a good lap.
“This year we're racing in America on the 4th of July weekend and it's perfect - I can't think of a better way to celebrate the holiday than at the US Grand Prix! Also the fact my brothers will be racing on the same weekend in the AMA championship helps make it special for me.
“This will be the first time my American fans get to see me on a Ducati so that will be cool because there are a lot of strong Ducati fans in the states. No predictions or anything but we'll go full gas and see what happens,” he declared.
Hayden finished a Ducati best of eighth in last Saturday's Dutch TT at Assen, despite a loose handlebar.