The 33-year-old Texan took three Assen wins during his World Superbike days, but would probably trade them all for a debut grand prix triumph. Last year he came within a few metres, leading the race from countryman Nicky Hayden as the pair charged for the final chicane. Hayden ran wide on the exit but Edwards, unaware of his rival's error, fell as he tried to stay on track and was forced to watch a first MotoGP victory slip away in agonising fashion.

"It's weird because Assen holds my best MotoGP memory and also my worst!" confessed Colin. "I know I should have won and I guess I gave Nicky Hayden the gift of a lifetime. I know and love the track, I won there loads of times in World Superbikes and the fans are fantastic - there's always a ton of Texas Tornado t-shirts and flags around the circuit, as there was at Donington, and that always gives you a great boost."

After a disappointing run of form that wielded just 19 points from the five previous races, Edwards bounced back in style last weekend at Donington Park - setting pole position and leading the race for eleven laps before being forced to settle for second by championship leader Casey Stoner. The goal this weekend is the top step.

"I'm taking a lot of confidence from the weekend just gone because we worked really hard and found a setting for the dry and for the wet in a really limited amount of time," said Edwards. "We think we've fixed the problems we've been having with the bike and from a personal point of view I was delighted to be back on the podium. The key now is to keep it going, make up for that disaster at Assen last year and carry some good form through to my home race at Laguna Seca in a few weeks' time."

"Colin obviously has a great score to settle with Assen after he so nearly won there last year, and after his podium in Donington and the improvements he made during the weekend, he should be in good shape to try to achieve his goal," added Fiat Yamaha team director Davide Brivio.