Bradley Smith is hoping his solid record at Mugello will stand him in good stead for the Gran Premio d’Italia TIM tomorrow.
The 23-year-old MotoGP star, from Forest Hill, near Oxford, won at the track from pole position in 2009 when riding in the 125cc class.
He was also third in 2011 on the Tech3 Moto2 bike, and his fourth-place finish the following year was his best result of the season.
In his first year in MotoGP in 2013, he finished ninth as Jorge Lorenzo claimed victory.
Smith, who is ninth in the championship standings for the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team behind leader Marc Marquez, will be looking to step up on his tenth-placed finish in France last time out.
He said: “After a tricky race at Le Mans I am ready and excited for Mugello which is one of my favourite tracks.
“I really like the nature of the circuit plus Yamaha is the most successful MotoGP manufacturer at this track, so we must feel confident.
“The crowd is always amazing, also the track is fantastic so I am ready to fight for success.”
Smith’s weekend got off to a slippery start with a minor downpour of rain leading to him sitting out second practice.
He was expecting to improve on his time in first practice, which saw finish tenth with a best lap of 1min 49.03secs – just over a second off the pace set by Marquez.
Smith said: “I am pretty happy with how things went this morning, and we have definitely improved a lot with certain aspects of the bike since Le Mans.”
- Oxford United players draw breath before Wembley
- Wembley tickets to go on sale at Oxford United
- FOOTBALL: Didcot Town defender Sam Elkins banned for five games after involvement in pitch invasion against Hereford
- BOWLS: AJ Docherty nicks Oxfordshire indoor singles title in thrilling final
- ROWING: Headington School rule roost once again
- RUGBY UNION: Former London Welsh back Alan Awcock enjoying new career after ending professional playing days
- RUGBY UNION: Oxford Harlequins prop Matt Edney set for year-long New Zealand trip
- ICE HOCKEY: Oxford City Stars demolished by London Raiders in play-offs
- RUGBY UNION: Tom Stileman, Jordan Brodley and Sam Pointon named in England Students squad for Ireland Universities clash at Iffley Road
- ATHLETICS: Oxford City’s Stewart Thorp helps Great Britain win silver at Indoor World Masters Championships