Surprisingly, none of Franco Morbidelli's 21 grand prix podiums have come in any of his home Italian-based rounds at Mugello or Misano.

Instead his best home finish is fourth at Mugello during his 2017 Moto2 title winning season.

A top-four this weekend for Petronas Yamaha would seal Morbidelli's best-ever MotoGP result, but at the very least he expects to better last year's 15th on a Marc VDS Honda.

"I'm very happy to be going to Mugello," Morbidelli said. "It's a track where I used to watch great riders on television and [as an Italian] it's one of the first tracks where you race big bikes. The crowd and the atmosphere with all the people on the hills always makes it special.

"This is always a race with a lot of emotion for me. I also feel some pressure, because I haven't had great results here, so I hope I'm faster than last year and my results will be better than ever.

"The results have been good so far this year and I have a lot of confidence in the team and the bike. I'm looking forward to meeting all the fans and I hope to have a good race. It's just great to be at Mugello!"

Morbidelli, fifth in Austin, is currently tied on with Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) for seventh in the world championship, eight points behind top satellite rider Jack Miller (Pramac Ducati).

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