One year ago, Hector Barbera arrived at Mugello with 39 points to his credit and holding eighth in the world championship.

He returns this weekend with just 12 points and only 18th in the world championship, having failed to feel comfortable on the upgrade from GP14.2 to GP16 machinery.

Fortunately Barbera, who like team-mate Loris Baz is out of contract at the end of this season, had an encouraging private test at Barcelona last week and believes they have 'finally found the right way'.

"We head to Mugello in a confident mood," Barbera said. "Our test last week at Barcelona was really positive which was a big boost to my motivation.

"The start of the season has been really tough for us, but I believe that we finally found the right way, and I look forward to confirm our progress at Mugello. The first five races were like a nightmare, and now we have to start from zero on a track I love."

Baz, who races the older GP15 machine, is currently 13th in the world championship with 19 points.

"The most serious part of the season starts at Mugello, as we have four races in just five weeks" said the Frenchman. "This will be a crucial month, but we have all reasons to be optimistic because things are going well and we have a good feeling with the bike.

" Our plan for Mugello is to maintain our momentum and to keep working well from the first practice session on Friday in order to find the best settings for the race as early as possible.

"I like the circuit and Mugello is always good for Ducati, so I hope to get a strong result and bring home some championship points."

Avintia will have GP17 machines next season.

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