MotoGP title leader Jorge Lorenzo, no lower than second in the races he has finished this season, will be seeking his fourth consecutive Laguna Seca podium in this weekend's US Grand Prix.
Winner in 2010, a sore Lorenzo finished second to Casey Stoner last season after a heavy practice highside.
The Factory Yamaha star returns with a 19-point lead over Stoner's Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa, meaning he has almost rebuilt the 25-point advantage prior to being taken down by Alvaro Bautista at Assen.
“With the exception of the disaster at Assen we are having a very strong season so far, always finishing in either first or second place. Hopefully we can continue to do this here to extend the lead a little more,” said Lorenzo.
“I have always had great races here in Laguna in MotoGP and [with the exception of 2008] always finish on the podium. I love the circuit, the corkscrew corner is amazing and the American fans always make an incredible atmosphere for us.”
Laguna Seca is round ten of 18 and the final event before the MotoGP summer break. Lorenzo has won five of the nine races so far.
“So here we are heading into the second half of the season already,” reflected team manager Wilco Zeelenberg.
“Jorge is riding very well and achieving excellent results. We know he really likes the Laguna circuit and is strong here so I'm confident we can do well.
“Last year he had a big crash the morning of qualifying which meant he had a lot less energy than usual on race day. He's fit and ready so we're hoping that won't happen this time.”
Free practice for the US GP starts on Friday.