Valentino Rossi has warned his Italian fans that a podium finish is the best he can hope for at Mugello this weekend.
The Italian legend won every MotoGP round at the track from 2002 to '08. Although he started his return to Yamaha promisingly with second in Qatar, Rossi has not been back on the podium since then and has struggled to match both his team-mate Jorge Lorenzo and the factory Hondas.
"This is a track that I really like and a good result is important," he said of Mugello. "Unfortunately, we are still not fast enough so we need to improve, especially in dry conditions. We must work hard and improve the bike.
"The Mugello race will be difficult, but we will try to do everything to get the best result. A podium would be really nice."
Honda has won the past three races with Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa. Lorenzo hopes that the Mugello track will allow Yamaha to get back on top, though he is still concerned about Honda's straightline speed advantage.
"The only weak point for us is the long straight, where maybe our rivals are stronger than us, but in general the track is very suitable for our bike," he said. "I can`t wait to go to Italy and find the pace. We need to cut away the gap to the front but anyway, the championship is long so we have to be calm."