Casey Stoner says only the top step of the podium during this weekend's United States Grand Prix at Laguna Seca will be good enough as he bids to increase a championship lead that is coming under threat.
Having broken away with a run of three consecutive wins in France, Spain and the United Kingdom, Stoner has been reeled in by Jorge Lorenzo over the last two rounds, with the gap between them now stood at 15 points.
Nonetheless, the Repsol Honda rider is optimistic heading to the United States Grand Prix, an event he last one during his 2007 title-winning year with Ducati. Indeed, though he is pleased to have been a victory contender in every race this season, he wants to get back to winning ways.
“I'm looking forward to going to Laguna Seca. It's a circuit I've always enjoyed quite good results at and we've always been naturally quite fast there. The track itself is a very tight and technical track, there are lots of sweeping gradients and unusual corners with a lot of camber, so you need to be delicate on the track and not 'attack' it too much.
“We'll be looking to improve our results from the past three weekends - three podiums are great - but I'm here to win races, so we'll be aiming to get back on the top step next Sunday in Laguna. It's been a pretty tiring few weeks and we have another back to back race now, but I love going to America and the area of Monterey is truly beautiful, the fans are always very welcoming and the atmosphere there is fantastic.”