Monster Yamaha's Cal Crutchlow has likened going over the top of Laguna Seca's Corkscrew as dropping off the end of the Earth and managed to run off the track twice at the iconic corner in California.
The former footballer managed 13th at a track he has never seen before but says he is close to the limit and still more than a second off the pace.
“It wasn't a bad day at all although obviously I want to be much higher up than 13th. At the moment it is quite difficult to do the lap time. I know going fast never comes easy but it feels like I'm quite close to the limit and I'm still over 1.6s behind," said Crutchlow.
"I'm the best of the rookies and that's a good start but it seems we've taken a step sideways and everybody else has taken a step forward. The bike feels better than Germany last weekend but we can still make it better. We're not far away and we've got some ideas to work on tonight but it also a lack of track knowledge that doesn't help.
"Trying to learn the track and go fast at the same time is not easy, but I'm making progress. The track itself is really good fun. The Corkscrew is pretty amazing although I've run off there twice. The key part is the approach and it is weird running up to it, because you can't even see it as you climb the hill. But it is a pretty amazing corner and it feels like you're dropping off the end of the earth.”