Newly re-signed Rizla Suzuki team-mates Loris Capirossi and Chris Vermeulen head to this weekend's Indianapolis Grand Prix 'interested and excited' by the unknown challenge ahead.
Indianapolis is a new event on the MotoGP calendar and when the bikes take to the track on Sunday it will be the first time that motorcycles have raced at the historic 'Brickyard' - capable of seating 400,000 fans - since 1909!
Vermeulen has finished in the top six for the past four rounds leading up to Indy, including two podiums, while Capirossi is looking for a repeat of his Czech GP rostrum form after a seventh place last time out at Misano.
Although no full time MotoGP riders have lapped the new Indy road course on their race machines, a tyre test was held in July - when Ben Spies, who will ride a third GSV-R this weekend, was present.
"This is going to be a really interesting event as nobody has ever raced here and we will all need to learn the track and how it performs with little data available to us before we go there," said Vermeulen, currently sixth in the world championship.
"Ben has done a test there so we have a bit of an idea how the Bridgestone tyres will perform, but it will still be a bit of a gamble when we choose our allocation for the weekend on Thursday.
"I am looking forward to it though as I used to watch the Indy 500 on TV and now it will be great to race a MotoGP bike at such a famous venue, I just hope we can put on a good show to convert some the American car fans into bike fans!" added the Australian.
"I am really excited about going to Indianapolis," declared Capirossi, who set a new record for grand prix starts last time out at Misano. "The track looks great and it will be a new challenge for us. The bike is working well with the new chassis and although we didn't get it quite right in Misano it seemed to improve lap-by-lap in the race so that should be good for when we start setting it up for this weekend's race. “
First and second free practice at Indy takes place on Friday.