Newly crowned MotoGP
world champion Jorge Lorenzo
dominated Friday free practice at a wet and wild Phillip Island in Australia.
The session was delayed by several hours due to surface water and mud on the track - and conditions weren't much better when the green light was finally given.
Battered by wind, rain and an air temperature of just 10 degrees, few could blame Ben Spies when he elected to remain in the pits for the first 15 minutes.
Spies later joined his rivals on track for a few laps, at a circuit he made his victorious WSBK
debut at in 2009, but returned swiftly to the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 pits and was ultimately last on the timesheets.
By contrast, Spies' 2011 team-mate Lorenzo, now free from the pressure of a title fight, enjoyed a two-second advantage in the early stages.
Casey Stoner, winner of his home round for the last three seasons, then trimmed that down to 0.6sec by the halfway point of the hour, after which a dry line began to develop on track.
Stoner's Ducati team-mate Nicky Hayden
was the first to get within half a second of Lorenzo, before Stoner regained second.
Although the Australian was just 0.334sec behind the Yamaha rider, Stoner was unable to bridge the gap in the final twelve minutes - as conditions edged ever closer to needing slicks.
Hayden likewise remain third (+0.6sec) on the patchy track, with rookie Marco Simoncelli a strong fourth for San Carlo Honda Gresini.
Team-mate Marco Melandri, who won the first 'bike-swap' MotoGP
race at Phillip Island in 2006, was the final rider within one-second of Lorenzo.