Unbeaten all weekend, Dani Pedrosa will start Sunday's Indianapolis Grand Prix from pole position and with his sights set firmly on completing an American double.
The Repsol Honda rider took his first and only win of the season so far at Laguna Seca in early July.
That victory came as a surprise, with the Fiat Yamahas of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo dominating practice, but the exact opposite has occurred at Indy, with Pedrosa heading the title leaders in both wet and dry conditions.
The Spaniard took his second pole of the season - and broke Yamaha's seven race pole run - by a decisive 0.506sec from Lorenzo, with Rossi a distant third, 0.879sec behind.
On paper, Pedrosa is the clearly the man to beat and the fast-starting #3 admitted he has a 'good chance'.
“I'm really happy with this pole position because we have been fast all weekend so far - in the we as well as the dry - so this is very positive,” began Dani, who made his Bridgestone debut in last year's race. "It's not easy to be in front of the Yamahas.
“The lap times are quick and also consistent which should give us a good chance in the race tomorrow. I've been comfortable on the machine from the start and things have just clicked here - it's not as if we've made any big changes for this race.
“We can't relax at all though because I'm sure the other riders will improve and we know how strong our rivals have been this season. So we must make a few small adjustments to make sure we have the best possible package tomorrow.
“I think de Angelis [fourth on the grid] is doing great, but of course the Yamahas will give us problems.
“I'm really looking forward to the race because it looks like the weather should be good - a big contrast to last year - and it will be great to feel the race-day atmosphere at Indianapolis in more normal conditions than last year. Now we'll just stay focused and concentrate on our preparation for tomorrow.”
“I have to say well done to Dani because he's done an excellent job this weekend and taking pole position was the natural conclusion of his progress so far,” stated team manager Kazuhiko Yamano. “He's been top in every session and looks in with a good chance of winning tomorrow. We've not made big changes to the machine so this performance was down to him and the team. We know our rivals are very strong so we won't be relaxing at all.”
If Pedrosa finishes third or higher on Sunday he will claim third in the championship from the absent Casey Stoner.
Meanwhile, Pedrosa's team-mate Andrea Dovizioso will start from eighth on the grid, having suffered a slow-speed fall early in qualifying.
“My qualifying session didn't go exactly to plan because I had a small crash near the beginning of the session in Turn 7,” confirmed the Italian. “At that point in the middle of the turn there's a change in the asphalt and you have to be more delicate on the brakes at the point. I didn't change the lever pressure correctly which was the mistake that caused me to lose the front. In fact my feeling from the front end wasn't perfect today, so this is what we'll be working to improve for tomorrow.”