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 27th May 2015
RYAN Taylor is relishing the prospect of battling for a place in Oxford United’s striking quartet next season after completing his move yesterday.
8:00am Wednesday 27th May 2015
EARLY season Cherwell League Division 1 pacesetters Tiddington thrashed Oxford 2nd by a massive 184 runs to go clear at the top and send their visitors to the foot of the table.
8:00am Wednesday 27th May 2015
Pensioner Tony Nicholls showed the youngsters how it’s done by top-scoring in the Greene King Oxford & District League, writes ANDY BEAL.
7:50am Wednesday 27th May 2015
DIVISION 1 new boys Radley maintained their perfect start to the season with a double victory.
6:30am Wednesday 27th May 2015
SHARP-SHOOTER John Mills has yet to decide where he’ll be playing his football next season after a stellar campaign with Didcot Town, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.
5:30pm Tuesday 26th May 2015
RYAN Taylor has become Oxford United's third signing of the summer after agreeing a two-year deal with the club.
9:20am Tuesday 26th May 2015
Oxford City general manager Justin Merritt feels that his side’s change of divisions next season is a mixed blessing, but is relishing the new challenge.
9:10am Tuesday 26th May 2015
Oxford United have been named as one of the favourites for the Sky Bet League Two title next season.
9:00am Tuesday 26th May 2015
AN injury-time penalty from Everton’s Paige Williams inflicted an agonising 3-2 defeat on Oxford United in the FA Women’s Super League 2, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.
8:00am Tuesday 26th May 2015
GARY King was the class act as he smashed the Frilford Heath course record en route to winning the Buildbase Open by two shots.