With his consecutive victories at Jerez and Le Mans Mika Kallio has pegged back his Marc VDS Racing Team teammate Tito Rabat in the championship standings, with Rabat now leading by just seven points ahead of the Gran Premio d'Italia TIM.
Last year at Mugello Rabat finished in 13th position and he is yet to step onto the podium at the picturesque Italian venue in his Grand Prix career.
The Spanish rider won two of the first three races of this year and looked like he might run away with the title, but Kallio has reeled him back in at the last two rounds, so Rabat will be pushing harder than ever for victory again at round six this weekend.
Like Rabat, Kallio has never been a rostrum finisher at Mugello, though it would be a surprise if neither of that pair can achieve a top three finish this time around in Italy given the strength of the team’s start to the year.
There are just four riders who have scored points in all of the first five Moto2™ races of 2014. Rabat and Kallio are two of them of course, with Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) and Anthony West (QMMF Racing Team) having done so from further down the field – currently in tenth and 11th places respectively in the standings.
Closest to Rabat and Kallio in the general classification, albeit 30 points behind the Finn in third place, is the Moto3™ World Champion Maverick Viñales - who already has four top five finishes including one victory to his name in the intermediate class.
Viñales and his Pons HP 40 colleague Luis Salom – seventh overall – are likely to feature towards the front in Italy. Salom was a Mugello winner last year in Moto3.
Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert) has again been a consistent performer this year since a mechanical failure in Qatar, with two podiums to his name and regularly challenging the frontrunners. He sits fourth overall, just ahead of Italian rider Simone Corsi (NGM Forward Racing) who arrives at his home race in good spirits after finishing second at Le Mans.
Also inside the championship top ten heading to round six, the likes of Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2), Jonas Folger (AGR Team) and Xavier Simeon
(Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) will all be striving for the podium in Tuscany.
In addition to Corsi, the three further Italian riders on the Moto2 grid - Franco Morbidelli (Italtrans Racing Team), Mattia Pasini (NGM Forward Racing) and Lorenzo Baldassarri (Gresini Moto2) will also enjoy great support from the vociferous Mugello crowd this weekend.