In front of his home crowd
As well as his five MotoGP victories at Mugello, Valentino Rossi also won the 125cc race there in 1997 and the 250cc race in 1999 - making him easily the most successful rider at the circuit across all classes of Grand Prix racing.
to be another special weekend for the Italian and he is optimistic that his chances won't be spoiled, as they were in France, by the rain.
"We hoped that Le Mans would be a place where we might have been able to win back some points on Stoner, but unfortunately the weather played against us", says Rossi, who trails the Australian by 21 points in the current rider standings. "We stayed in France for two days of testing and we made a lot of progress, especially with the tyres. We also tried some new engine modifications, just small details, wh ich we think will help us in Mugello.”
"As everyone knows I have a very special relationship with Mugello. I have won there many times, including the last three years with Yamaha, and I've had some of the greatest races of my life there. Even though I will have a second home race this year at Misano, Mugello is something incredible and the fans and atmosphere there are always unbelievable. It's a fantastic track but of course the straight is very long and we know we're going to have a very hard battle on our hands. At least we can rely on the weather... I hope!"
In stark contrast to the fortunes of Valentino Rossi at Mugello, for Colin Edwards it is one of his least successful circuits - with a best ever result of ninth place in both 2003 and 2005.
However, Edwards' pace aboard the YZR-M1 at every kind of circuit so far this season gives him plenty of reason to think that he can end that barren run this Sunday.
"Mugello hasn't been one of my best GP tracks and I've never had a really great race there, but we're aiming to turn that around this time", affirms Edwards. "Le Mans was a massive disappointment for everyone, especially after getting pole, but it was good to get back to work straight away and try to find out why it happened instead of sitting stewing over it for ten days. We know our bike is working brilliantly when we get everything right - qualifying is proving that at every race - but we really need to translate that to race conditions and to do this we need to make the most of every minute of practice.”
"Mugello is an incredible place and the Italian fans are completely crazy, in a good way! The countryside is beautiful and you can't help but be inspired by the atmosphere. This is really crunch time now - six races in eight weeks with the first being Valentino's home race and the last, in the US, being mine. Let's hope we can kick the run off to a good start with a double podium in Mugello, finish it off in the same way at Laguna and try to do the same thing at all the ones in between too!"