Nicky Hayden is hoping his upturn in form so far this season will go a long way to dispelling memories of his struggles during the 2009 Italian Grand Prix, his first 'home' race for Ducati.

The American qualified 16th and finished 12th last season, a result that contributed to what had become a difficult start to life as a Ducati rider.

However, twelve months on and Hayden has revived his fortunes, gelling well with the GP10 to take on team leader Casey Stoner and sit fifth in the standings with a trio of fourth place finishes to his name.

With this in mind, he is confident he can make amends for last year with a much better performance for his employers.

"I can't wait to go to Mugello and banish the memory of last year, when I was quite slow in front of the Italian fans and so many people from Ducati. Actually things went better in the race than they had done in practice but then I suffered a problem with my rear brake and the result was anything but good.

"We're going into a run of races that could be quite decent for us and we're confident. Mugello is a circuit that can be really nice to ride or really tough, depending on whether you can get your bike working well and have a good set-up.

"If you manage that you can have some serious fun. I'm expecting to see a lot of Ducati fans so hopefully I can have fun and they can too."