This weekend's Mugello round will mark the 150th grand prix start for reigning Moto2 champion Tito Rabat.

The first Moto2 champion to attempt a title defence, Rabat is still chasing his first win of the season and sits just sixth in the standings, 36 points from leader Johann Zarco.

But the Spaniard dominated at Mugello last year and has momentum on his side after a third and then second place at the last two events.

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"Tito had a shaky start to the season, but his results in Jerez and Le Mans show quite clearly that he's now got to grips with the 2015 Kalex and his confidence has returned," declared Marc VDS team principal Michael Bartholemy.

"We know from last year that Tito can win on any track and this is a major advantage compared to his championship rivals. Some people have written Tito's title challenge off already, but then they did that last year when he didn't win in Jerez and it was equally premature then."

Rabat added: "The last two races have been good, but that won't change my approach. I always go into the weekend ready to work hard together with the team, to try and fight for the win on Sunday and that will be the same in Mugello.

"What does change is the situation and the situation is different this year compared to last. We are not where we expected to be right now, but I'm happy with my bike, happy with my team and happy with my performance, so if I focus on the job at hand and give my maximum like always then I know the results will come.

"Mugello is one of my favourite tracks; it's so fast, so nice to ride and the atmosphere is always electric. I'm looking forward to the weekend ahead."

Rookie team-mate and reigning Moto3 champion Alex Marquez has so far endured a troublesome transition to Moto2 and heads to Italy holding 17th in the championship after his first non-score of the season at Le Mans.

"This weekend ?lex needs to forget Le Mans, hit the reset button and enjoy riding the bike once again," Bartholemy said. "If he can do that then I'm sure he will quickly regain the confidence that he was missing in France."