Heavy rain might have been the chance Monster Yamaha Tech 3 riders Colin Edwards and James Toseland were waiting for to break the factory team dominance at the front of the MotoGP field, but the pair were left seventh and 14th on the grid.
Edwards, the leading satellite rider in the world championship, felt he couldn't complain with his position after struggling with set-up, but will be aware that he is only the third fastest satellite rider on the grid. The Honda machines of Alex de Angelis and Randy de Puniet will start just ahead in fifth and sixth.
“It was a bit of a struggle to be honest, so to be as high as seventh, I'm not going to complain too much,” said the Texan. “I thought we'd made a big step with the wet set-up yesterday but the rain was much harder this afternoon and the track temperature was a lot cooler. I knew two laps into it that I'd got no feeling from the rear.
“The Bridgestone front rain tyre is just awesome and you can do what you want with it. If I could chop the bike in half and just ride the front around here it would be fantastic. But as soon as I load the rear tyre it comes round on me and picks me up. I want to push and go faster, but the faster I go the more load I'm generating and that just pushes the rear out even more. The balance isn't quite right because I feel like I'm riding well in the rain.
“Tomorrow is all about getting a good start with it being hard to overtake. And the start pretty much determines which group you're going to be battling in. The new electronics I've got though are unbelievable. I don't want to curse myself but my starts have been phenomenal and I need to thank Yamaha because the new electronics have helped me massively,” he insisted.
For Toseland, 14th out of 17 riders was a disaster, and the fact that he was only 0.4sec from sixth only seemed to add to his misery.
“I'm gutted,” said the Englishman. “I felt like I was riding really well, so to come in and see myself four-tenths of sixth is hard to swallow. If I wasn't riding well and not putting in the effort I know I am, I wouldn't be so frustrated. I had my best feeling in the wet for a long time and I knew I was riding well, but each time I came across the line I was seeing P12 or P13. And then to find out I'm so close to a top six is really frustrating.
“We kept one set of tyres through the whole session and just as I did my quickest lap time the rain started coming again and there was a little bit more water. I'd used the best grip of my tyre and I couldn't go any quicker. So instead of sitting here in sixth or seventh with a big smile on my face and feeling confident of a good result, I'm fourteenth and that makes it a tough race with it being so hard to overtake.
“But my guys at Monster Yamaha Tech 3 have done an amazing job to give me a good bike for the wet and build my confidence. We kept going softer with the set-up because the edge grip on the Bridgestone rain tyre is amazing. It will be a tough race with overtaking so difficult on this track, but as always I'll be giving it my all,” he concluded.