Edwards relies on Corkscrew to put Rossi in twist

The Gauloises Yamaha rider would also become the first graduate from the World Superbike series to win a MotoGP race if he succeeds on the track in north California.

"Everybody I know is coming to this race and I want to win," Edwards said. "That's the only thing I'm thinking of. If anybody else wants to win, they have to beat me on my own turf."

The American has a significant advantage over his team-mate Valentino Rossi, the reigning world champion, who has won six of this year's seven races.

Edwards has competed on the tricky hillside circuit 14 times, and won on a superbike in his last appearance there in 2002. However, Rossi is new to the track's 11 curves, which include the notorious Corkscrew, a left and right downhill swoop after a very fast approach.

"It took me three or four years to learn the layout well and to figure out all the bumps," Edwards said. "There are a few secret lines, which I won't be sharing with anyone. They take experience - you don't just learn them overnight.

"The guys who have ridden the track in the past will definitely have an advantage."

The US Grand Prix will be crucial to MotoGP's future, especially in view of the recent Formula One fiasco at Indianapolis. MotoGP has grown from 16 to 17 rounds this year, and is visiting China and Turkey for the first time. As the track does not have a banked corner of the kind that provoked the problems at Indianapolis, the organisers can be confident that the sell-out 150,000 crowd will not witness a tyre crisis at Laguna Seca.

The Leicestershire rider Michael Rutter and Japan's Ryuichi Kiyonari, HM Plant Honda team-mates, will continue their battle for the British Superbike Championship at Snetterton, Norfolk, tomorrow.

Rutter leads by 43 points, but Kiyonari is catching him fast. "I have to do something about him," Rutter admitted. "I can't allow him to keep winning."