Although yet to win a race this season, Dani Pedrosa has scored more points than any other rider at the last three MotoGP rounds.
The only weak point in Pedrosa's season so far has been eleventh at round one in Qatar, a race that came too early for the injured Spaniard, but his recovery in the three races since has been remarkable.
Pedrosa is the only Honda rider to stand on the 2009 MotoGP podium and his 52 points from the last three rounds is two points more than world championship leader Jorge Lorenzo, seven more than Valentino Rossi and 12 more than Casey Stoner.
However, in overall terms, Lorenzo heads into this weekend's Italian Grand Prix one point ahead of Yamaha team-mate Rossi and Ducati star Stoner, with Pedrosa nine points behind Lorenzo in fourth.
It will be a tough task for anyone to break Rossi's seven-race win streak at Mugello, but Pedrosa is comfortable out of the limelight and sure to be a podium threat.
"The race at Mugello is always a special one because the circuit is really challenging and the fans are so passionate about racing. I'm going there in a good frame of mind. We're heading into the busy part of the season and our position in the championship standings, considering the problems I had over the winter, really isn't too bad,” he confessed.
“Plus I was pleased with my pace in France, which proved to me that my physical condition is improving and I can go fast right to the end of the race. That's an important point for Mugello because it's a physically demanding track to ride, especially in the fast direction changes, and you want to be at full strength to be able to ride aggressively there - which you have to do in some parts of the track.
“I think it will be a tough race because it's the home event for my team-mate [Andrea Dovizioso] and for many of our rivals - plus [Ducati] have tested here quite a lot. But I'm looking forward to the challenge. We must continue to work on our machine package and get the maximum possible result."
Pedrosa was third at Mugello in 2008 and second in 2007.The #3 tasted victory at the Tuscan circuit in the 250cc class in 2005.