Valentino Rossi won't be thinking about his MotoGP points lead during Sunday's home Italian Grand Prix.

"I think that you can do some calculation for the championship in the last three races. Not before," Rossi said. "Before you have to take every race at the maximum.

"Also because Jorge has gained 15 points on me in the last races and is not so far. But now it is like this: Every weekend try to make the maximum to arrive on the podium. For sure the first target is try to win and if not possible try to take the points.

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"Before starting to think about the advantage in the championship, you have to arrive at the last two or three races I think."

Rossi was unbeaten at Mugello from 2002-2008, but also suffered the biggest injury of his career at the circuit in 2010, when he broke his right leg in practice.

The Doctor is leading the world championship heading into the Italian round for the first time since 2008, but is facing increasing pressure from team-mate Lorenzo. The Spaniard has won the last two races and is now 15 points from the championship lead.

Lorenzo also has an impressive Mugello record, with three wins and three second places in the last six years.

One of Lorenzo's strengths is his pace when leading at the start of the race. For Rossi this danger is amplified by his own biggest weakness - qualifying. Rossi is yet to start on the front row this season, claiming both his race wins from just eighth on the grid.

"I'm never very strong in qualifying. Especially with this type of qualifying. I was able to be stronger with the normal practice. But anyway this is the rule and it is the same for everybody," Rossi said, referring to the 15-minute Qualifying 2 pole position shootout.

"In the last two races we suffer a little bit too much in the practice because I think we did some mistakes. So here it is important to try and qualify on the first two rows.

"There are a lot of riders fast in the first laps but especially Jorge. If he starts in front he is able to put a very strong rhythm after the first corner. To try to fight we have to start more in front."