A third and second place is far from a disaster, but it's been a tough last two races for reigning seven time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi, whose Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo has taken victory on both occasions to extend his early 2010 title lead.
As well as a super fast team-mate, Rossi has been dealing with physical problems - in the shape of his injured shoulder - and also bike set-up issues, which he labeled as the main reason for his last two defeats, following victory at round one in Qatar.
But the tens of thousands of loyal Rossi fans descending on Mugello this weekend won't want to hear such explanations - they just want to see a tenth Rossi Italian Grand Prix victory.
Rossi has an unequalled record at Mugello, with his nine wins to date coming from 14 races, and including an extraordinary run of seven consecutive victories, which came to an end last season when he finished third behind Casey Stoner and Jorge Lorenzo in a wet/dry race.
"After another rest I hope my shoulder is fully recovered and that I will be back to full strength for Mugello, my home race. We had some problems in Le Mans so we will be working hard from the first session to make sure that we're back to our best,” said Rossi.
“Mugello is an incredible place to ride a motorcycle, there is nowhere else like it in the world with all the tifosi around the hills and when you go out for the first lap the sound is something amazing. I always look forward to racing there and I hope we will be in good shape this weekend."
"Mugello is our home race and it's always fun to go there for all the team. It's a special place with an incredible atmosphere and all the fans make a huge party,” stated team manager Davide Brivio. ”It's one of Valentino's best tracks, even though he didn't win there last year for the first time in years! He's had some more time to recover from his shoulder now and we will be working hard from the first session in our team to be as strong as possible."
Rossi will start round four nine points behind Lorenzo.