Briton Bradley Smith is looking to strengthen his 125GP title bid in Mugello this weekend as he goes in search of a second podium of 2009.
The 18-year-old goes into the Italian GP weekend trailing Aspar Aprilia team-mate Julian Simon by just five-and-a-half points after a hard fought fourth place in a rain-hit French GP earlier this month.
And Smith, who broke his long-awaited victory duck in Jerez, is confident he will be fighting at the front again at the spectacular Mugello circuit.
The Oxfordshire rider said: “I led the race over the final few laps last year but lost a few positions on the straight because of a problem with my bike and ended up missing out on the podium, even though it was still an incredible race for me.
"The temperature is usually good around this time of year in Italy so hopefully we can have good weather all weekend and a dry race on Sunday. My mechanics are Italian so this is their home race and they'll all be highly motivated, so I want to give my best to score a podium for them.”