Just one point separates Bradley Smith from top satellite rider Cal Crutchlow heading into this weekend's sixth round at Mugello in Italy.

Smith has claimed three sixth-places for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team so far this season and was 'in the hunt' with factory stars Andrea Iannone and Marc Marquez last time in Le Mans.

"It's that time of the year when we visit the awesome Mugello circuit again," Smith said. "Riding this track is a real pleasure and the race event is one that everyone enjoys, especially as the crowd is always so passionate. The track is undulating and there is a huge straight which means some of the fastest top speeds of the year.

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"With regards to the Yamaha, the flowing nature of the circuit suits us and as long as I ride smoothly, I feel that we can clinch a good result. Last race, I was right in the hunt with Iannone and Marquez in the final section of the race, so I hope to be in a similar position this time around on Sunday afternoon.

"As always, we will try to hit the ground running and we will look to get everything set up as soon as possible so that we can have a strong qualifying which is vital in order to close the weekend with a positive result in the race."

Earlier today (Monday) Smith and team-mate Pol Espargaro were confirmed as riding in this year's Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race, which takes place in July.