Indianapolis, Indiana - Marc Marquez hopes to keep his perfect start to the season intact by winning his 10th straight race at the Indianapolis Grand Prix at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday.
Marquez, who is the youngest rider in history to win nine races in a row, has a perfect total of 225 points in the world standings, 77 points ahead of Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa.
Marquez said on Thursday he was well rested and eager to kick off the second half of the 18-race season at Indianapolis.
“We had some rest over the holidays, one week more or less but now we are ready to go again,” he said. “We are excited to ride again and to look at the new layout and the new surface here at Indy.”
Marquez dominated the German MotoGP last month in Sachsenring, finishing ahead of compatriot Pedrosa with former double world champion Jorge Lorenzo third.
With the victory, the 21-year-old Marquez surpassed Mike Hailwood’s 1964 record as the youngest rider to win nine consecutive races.
Riders will notice some improvements to the Indianapolis 500 track for this weekend's race after critics said last year it was too bumpy.
“The improvements are quite big,” said Yamaha's Valentino Rossi. “A lot of bumps seem to be gone and the new surface looks a lot better.”
Crowd favourite Nicky Hayden, of the US, will not race Sunday as he is still recovering from wrist surgery.
“You hate to miss your home race,” Hayden said. “The surgery went well.”
Meanwhile, 27-year-old Lorenzo on Thursday signed a new two-year deal with Yamaha that will keep him at the team until 2016.
He joined team-mate Valentino Rossi in committing himself to Yamaha after the veteran Italian also penned a two-year extension in July.
"I am very happy to finally be able to make this announcement. It is a relief to be able to now completely focus on the remainder of the 2014 season in the knowledge that our relationship will continue for the next two seasons," said Lorenzo, the 2010 and 2012 world champion.
"It has always been my wish to continue my career with Yamaha; I strongly believe we can fight for a third title together. This season has been very challenging after a difficult start, however we will continue to take it race by race, giving 100 percent until Valencia."
Lorenzo is currently fifth in the world championship, 128 points behind runaway leader Marc Marquez on a Honda.