Nicky Hayden believes the 1000cc Ducati will be well-suited to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway circuit, and expects to score his best result of 2012 so far in this weekend's MotoGP race.
The American is currently seventh in the championship, two points ahead of Ducati teammate Valentino Rossi, but has not finished higher than sixth this year to date. Although Hayden admitted that Ducati had been further off the pace than he had hoped at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca last month, he is optimistic that Indianapolis will prove more successful.
"Hopefully we can do a good result. We struggled more at Laguna than I expected, but Indy is much faster, with more opportunities to open the throttle," he said.
"It should be nice to ride that track on the 1000s, and it will be fun for the American fans to really get to see them in action. Last season, tire wear was critical there, but hopefully the pavement will come in a bit better this year.
"I hope to be competitive starting on Friday, and I'll definitely be disappointed if we don't get the best result of the season so far."
Hayden was confirmed for another season at Ducati before Laguna, while Rossi has subsequently announced that he will leave the team to rejoin Yamaha. Andrea Dovizioso is expected to be announced as his replacement.