Marc Marquez says he expects the competition to be tougher than ever for this weekend's Grand Prix of Italy in Mugello as he looks to put last year's disastrous round there last year firmly behind him.

Mugello signalled Marquez's one and only retirement en route to the world championship title in 2013, the Spaniard crashing out of second place in the closing stages of the race. However, prior to that Marquez had already suffered several other confidence-sapping crashes, not least a frightening high-speed one at the end of the lengthy home straight.

Furthermore, the Mugello circuit is something of a happy hunting ground for his nearest rivals with Jorge Lorenzo having won each of the last three races there, while Dani Pedrosa has performed well in the past and Valentino Rossi returns to beloved home venue in arguably his best form for several years.

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With this all in mind, Marquez admits it will be difficult for him to maintain his perfect start to the 2014 season having notched up five race wins from five pole positions already, but is confident the event will go somewhat smoother than in 2013.

"Le Mans was a great weekend for us and although it may look easy from the outside, it is a result of a lot hard work with the team over the weekend to set the bike up," he said.

"Mugello is a tricky circuit - one of the hardest on the calendar - and we struggled a lot last year. I had many crashes over the weekend and then crashed out of the race also. Now I have an extra year's experience and I hope it will go more smoothly for us!

"I know that Valentino will be very strong at his 'home' race, Jorge has won there for the past three years and Dani is also very fast there, so we will need to stay focused and if we cannot challenge for the win then we must take important points for the Championship."