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.”
9:30am Wednesday 26th November 2014
MICKEY Lewis backed James Roberts to come back stronger than ever after Oxford United were boosted by the news the striker’s hamstring injury was not serious.
4:00pm Wednesday 26th November 2014
CONGRATULATIONS to Lewis Hamilton on winning the Formula 1 drivers’ world championship for the second time in his superb career.
1:00pm Wednesday 26th November 2014
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12:31pm Wednesday 26th November 2014
OXFORD University hammered Loughborough University 43-0 in their penultimate Varsity Match warm-up at a very wet Iffley Road last night.
12:29pm Wednesday 26th November 2014
BANBURY United exited the Birmingham Senior Cup after losing 6-1 at Coleshill Town.
9:00am Wednesday 26th November 2014
LONDON Welsh could see first-choice half backs Olly Barkley and Piri Weepu return to face Northampton at the Kassam Stadium in the Aviva Premiership on Sunday.
8:50am Wednesday 26th November 2014
With their closest rivals in cup action, Carterton Town A increased their lead at the top of the Witney & District FA Premier Division to eight points with a 3-1 home win over bottom club Brize Norton, writes ANTHONY BARLOW.
8:40am Wednesday 26th November 2014
North Berks League Division 1 leaders Berinsfield made short work of bottom side Saxton Rovers with a comfortable 5-0 home win, writes PHIL ANNETS.
8:30am Wednesday 26th November 2014
DAMINI Bhagat hit a hat-trick for Oxford City in the Under 12 Red League as they ended leaders Tower Hill Vixens’ perfect record with a 6-2 away win.
8:00am Wednesday 26th November 2014
KIDLINGTON Old Boys won an epic Oxfordshire Charity Cup second round tie at home to West Witney following a 2-2 draw after extra time.