Chaz Davies is quietly confident he can mount a front-running challenge at Laguna Seca this weekend, a circuit he knows intimately from his time racing in the United States and where the Ducati 1199 Panigale arguably performed best in 2013.

A podium winner around the California circuit last season aboard a BMW, it was also where substitute rider Niccolo Canepa put in an impressive performance aboard the twin-cylinder machine by qualifying fourth.

A year on and the bike is considerably more competitive, culminating in its best results yet last time out in Portugal with a second and third place finish, leading Davies to believe he has a good shot at a similarly strong result this weekend.

"I'm excited ahead of Laguna. I took a podium finish last time around and it's always been one of my favourite tracks. California itself is a beautiful part of the world, whether you're there to race or simply to relax.

"Canepa was going strong in the race last year with the Ducati, and both Davide and I scored some good results there too. I feel that we took another good step forward in Portimao and I'm hopeful that the bike will work well this coming weekend too; I'm looking forward to seeing what we can do at Laguna."