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.”
6:00am Thursday 2nd July 2015
OXFORD United have received a major financial injection with lifelong supporter Stewart Donald set to acquire a ten per cent stake in the club.
9:30am Wednesday 1st July 2015
GEORGE Baldock described the decision join Oxford United as a “no-brainer” given the determination the club had shown to bring him back.
7:30am Wednesday 1st July 2015
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7:00am Wednesday 1st July 2015
Thame Town went back to the top of the Cherwell League table after romping to victory over struggling Wolverton Town.
7:00am Wednesday 1st July 2015
OXFORD University made a poor start to cricket’s Varsity Match with Cambridge at Fenners.
6:50am Wednesday 1st July 2015
ALEXIS Canter will fulfil his dream of playing at Wimbledon after being handed a wildcard into the main draw of the Junior Championships.
6:00am Wednesday 1st July 2015
CHEQUERS A moved off the bottom of the table with a shock 2-1 win over leaders Crown Chalgrove in Section 3 of the Greene King Oxford & District League, writes ANDY BEAL.
4:00pm Tuesday 30th June 2015
GEORGE Baldock has agreed to return to Oxford United on a season-long loan deal from MK Dons.
12:00pm Tuesday 30th June 2015
OXFORD United’s game at Bristol Rovers in September has been selected for live coverage by Sky Sports.
10:00am Tuesday 30th June 2015
Ryan Clarke looks certain to be leaving Oxford United, with head coach Michael Appleton expecting the goalkeeper to depart this week.