Jorge Lorenzo will be bidding for his fourth consecutive grand prix win at Mugello as he hopes to recover from a horrible start to the MotoGP season.
This is Lorenzo's worst opening to a season since he came to MotoGP in 2008 as Yamaha's star rookie. He is winless in five races.
The Spanish star hopes that his much improved physical condition and the option to use the larger 340 mm front carbon disc brake will play into his hands in Sunday's Italian GP.
Lorenzo comes to Mugello this year deep in the shadow of his Spanish rival and Honda's golden boy Marquez, who has taken control of the championship with five straight wins.
A year ago, Lorenzo's third consecutive win in the Italian GP was his second victory for the 2013 season. A fourth Mugello win would be very welcome right now.
"The moment I arrived here last year is not the same as this year," Lorenzo said.
"But I think we are more competitive than I have shown in the races (so far this year) but, for some circumstances, we couldn’t make the results we expected.
"Also I need to recover my physical condition and in every race I am getting better and better and we arrive here much better than in Le Mans and the new big brake discs work very well for myself and for Yamaha, so I think the circumstances can now be more in favor for us.”
The larger disc, up from the standard 320 mm unit, is now optional at all circuits while mandatory at the Twin-Ring Motegi circuit in Japan.
The change has been made to alleviate concerns over braking consistency for the now heavier and faster - up to 218 mph - top speeds of the 1,000cc era MotoGP bikes.
Lorenzo's best result this season is third place in Argentina. He is a massive 80 points behind Marquez in the title chase, finishing a distant sixth at Le Mans last week.
But it is Mugello, the classic circuit in the Tuscan countryside, where Lorenzo hopes he can spark a resurgence in his 2014 form in Sunday's race.
“This is a very special race for all the riders because it is a beautiful track and hopefully we can come back like last year," Lorenzo said.