Jorge Lorenzo is entering MotoGP's double-header in the United States with the intention of extending his championship lead, starting at Laguna Seca this weekend. The Yamaha rider has a nineteen point advantage over Dani Pedrosa but knows he must continue his stunning early-season form, and is confident of doing so.

“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. I have always had great races here in Laguna in MotoGP and 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.”

An injured Lorenzo was beaten by Casey Stoner here last year but team manager Wilco Zeelenberg expects a very different race this time.

“So here we are heading into the second half of the season already. 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.”

Yamaha teammate Ben Spies has made the headlines in the build-up to his first home race of the year. The American announced on Twitter that he will leave the Yamaha MotoGP team (although the tweet was later deleted) with rumours pointing towards a return to World Superbikes. Despite the tough times he's encountered this year, Spies is excited ahead of Laguna Seca and begins the weekend in high spirits.

“It's always special racing in front of your home crowd. It's been a pretty rough season so far but we'll see if we can turn it round here, put on a good show for all my fans and change it up for the second half of the year. We had some great results here before in AMA and not so bad on my first two MotoGP visits. It's going to be great to see some old faces around the track over the weekend too.”