Dani Pedrosa believes his victory in the German Grand Prix less than a week ago is an indication that he is now able to 'fight with the riders in front' on a regular basis.
The Spaniard heads to the United States Grand Prix at Laguna Seca on the back of a second MotoGP win of the season at the Sachsenring, Pedrosa pulling off similarly dominant performance to that of Mugello.
Pointing out that much of the difference was made by the fact he was competitive from the word 'go' on the Friday, Pedrosa is aiming for a similarly fast start this weekend as he bids to repeat last year's win around the Californian circuit.
“To take the win in Germany was fantastic and it means we're going into this weekend at Laguna Seca in great shape,” he said. “I think the race will be very similar to the last one, with lap times very close, and I hope we have a repeat of the way we worked in Germany.
“The key point in Sachsenring was that we were competitive and fast from the first practice on Friday. When everything is in place like this we have the level to compete with any of our rivals and to beat them - and that's what I want to achieve again.
“We had a great race in Laguna Seca last year and we were able to win, so I would love to go on holiday after this weekend with another victory under our belts. I know we have to work very hard to make it happen because Lorenzo is not making many mistakes, Stoner is back to his best level, and Rossi has returned very strong - and I'm sure that in the States he will be even better than in Germany. But we can be up there again if we push hard.
“We started the season not being able to fight with the riders in front, but now we have got to the required level to do this. Of course, we must keep our feet on the ground and not relax at all.”