Marco Simoncelli and Marco Melandri
head to the latest round of the MotoGP World Championship in different frames of mind after contrasting fortunes in Germany.
Rookie Simoncelli continued to stamp his mark on MotoGP with a confident run to sixth position at the Sachsenring, the Italian taking himself past Gresini Honda team-mate Melandri overall in the process as the experienced rider could only manage tenth.
The upcoming race at Laguna Seca represents a whole new challenge for Simoncelli, however, who has not had the chance to ride there during his tenure in the lower classes.
“I had a lot of fun at Sachsenring, the whole race was fantastic and now we go to a circuit that I only know from playing Gran Turismo on the games console. I've never been there before so I am curious so see how it is, also we will get an electronic upgrade in America so there will be a few new things to get used to - that will make it a tough weekend for me and for the guys in the team.
“There will be a lot of things for us to get used to in the first session, which won't be easy, but I don't take long to learn new tracks so I'll just have to take it steady and learn how the electronics work because even if they don't make an immediate difference I'm sure they will do in the future. I hope I can continue in this way because at the moment I am feeling very happy with things."
Melandri, meanwhile, was left disappointed that his full recovery from the shoulder injury sustained at Assen is taking longer than anticipated.
"Laguna Seca is one of the nicest tracks in the world as far as I am concerned but it won't be easy. I was disappointed after Germany because I thought I was going to be in better physical shape but it proved to be the opposite and I completely ran out of strength. It wasn't easy so my confidence is not the best going to America.
“There are a few less left-hand corners at Laguna so I hope I can recover my feeling with the bike. I would really like to make up for the result at Sachsenring at a circuit I like and where I have always raced well so I hope I can be fighting as much as possible.
“The atmosphere in California is special, the track is fast and flowing and as I said before I love it there but I don´t want to make any predictions until I see what shape I am in."