Rossi expects great race at Mugello

Rossi goes into his home GP on top of the standings for the first time since 2008, having won there on seven consecutive occasions from 2002 to 2008.

"Arriving at Mugello as the leader in the championship and being in a great shape is perfect. We are fast from the start of the season and this is important," Rossi told before this weekend's race.

Reigning champion Marc Marquez, who won at Mugello last year in the middle of a run at the start of the season which saw him win 10 consecutive times, may be determined to get his campaign back on track, but Rossi believes his toughest challenger this weekend may be his Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo.

Before Marquez' victory there last year, Lorenzo won there in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

"I really like the Mugello circuit, the Italian Grand Prix is always a nice weekend, but also Jorge loves this track," Rossi added. 

"Jorge and I will try to put our Yamaha's on top again, but this time I hope it will be in a reverse order! 

"In Le Mans I struggled a bit, but I still managed to take second. At Mugello we must not make mistakes with the set-up of the bike, starting from the free practices. We will work hard from the first day to make this a nice weekend. 

"There will be so many people in Mugello. We will have even more fans visiting the track already on Saturday. It will be a great race!" 

Going into this weekend's race, Rossi leads Lorenzo by 15 points, with Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso a further four points adrift. Marquez is 33 points behind the Championship leader.