Marco Melandri moved back up to second in the 2011 World Superbike Championship with 4-2 race finishes at Monza, reducing Carlos Checa's advantage to 27 points in the process.
Ducati rider Checa endured his worst weekend of the season at the super-fast Italian circuit, with ninth and tenth places.
However the Spaniard has an excellent record at Miller Motorsports Park - venue for this weekend's fifth round. Checa took a double win in 2008, took a podium in 2009 - and was leading both of last year's races when his 1198 ground to a halt.
By contrast, Miller is another track Yamaha WSBK rookie Melandri has never raced at the track.
“It's another completely new track for me but I've heard plenty positive comments so I'm eager to go there and experience it for myself," said Marco. "On the down side, I know it's one of Checa's best tracks!
"I intend trying to close the gap between us in the standings but that won't be easy in Miller. I'm pretty sure we will be very competitive, obtain good results and enjoy the weekend in Salt Lake City.”
"Saturday [practice] will be very important for Marco to get acquainted with what the track has to offer," added crew chief Silvano Galbusera. "We are currently working to improve the chassis set-up in order to provide better stability for the bike on exiting corners. We know it's one of Checa's favorite tracks. We'll do our best to reduce the gap, keeping in mind also that this is where Biaggi got a double win in 2010.”