In terms of points, no race is more important than any other, but if Jorge Lorenzo wins in team-mate and reigning champion Valentino Rossi's home race this weekend, few will doubt that the 2010 MotoGP title fight has swung in the young Spaniard's favour.
The Fiat Yamaha riders have finished on the podium at all three rounds, with Lorenzo winning the last two races to hold a slim nine-point lead over Rossi, who is the only other winner this season with victory in round one.
The 23-year-old finished ahead of Rossi on his way to second place at Mugello last season, during a wet/dry race won by Casey Stoner, but a repeat of Lorenzo's clear-cut Le Mans victory would be a massive blow for Rossi - who won at Mugello seven times in a row prior to last season.
“Last year Mugello was one of my best races!” said Lorenzo. “I crashed in the warm-up lap, but otherwise it was almost perfect and I was so happy to get on the podium. The sessions and the race were amazing because the weather kept changing.
“For me, Mugello is the best circuit in the world, joint with Phillip Island. It's a classic circuit with many ups and downs and an incredible atmosphere. I have had a great start to the season and once again our aim will be to be strong from the first day and get on the podium,” he added.
Significantly, Lorenzo's side of the divided Fiat Yamaha garage seems to have done a better job on bike set-up than Rossi's at the last two rounds.
"Our team is very close now and working very well together, Jorge trusts us to make the right decisions for him and we have seen the rewards of this partnership in the first three races,” said team manager Wilco Zeelenberg. “We're looking forward to Mugello and we will be aiming for the podium once again."