Ben Spies matched his best qualifying of the season with second place, behind Repsol Honda's Casey Stoner, during a rain-interrupted qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix.
MotoGP's newest race winner put in his fastest time on his tenth lap then, when the rain arrived, sat out the rest of the session safe in the knowledge his grid position could not be beaten.
The Texan had been fourth fastest in the dry morning free practice.
“Everybody only got about ten laps in this afternoon, we only used one set of tyres so we have plenty for tomorrow. We're pretty confident we know which rubber we want to use after the qualifying session," said Spies.
"I wish we could have had the whole hour in the dry but there you go, it was the same for everyone. We think we can make the bike a bit better for the race so we'll work on it and I'm looking forward to challenging for the podium.”
Team-mate and reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo was still hunting his fastest lap when the conditions changed, leaving him to start from fifth in tomorrow's race. Lorenzo had been fastest of all in morning practice.
“The bike has been working well but at the end in qualifying I couldn't improve. It is very complicated riding in wet conditions and the pole has been for the rider who took more risks. It's a shame because I hoped for more!" he said.
"My aim is to try to be in front. For this it's important to get a good start. All my team is focused to do another good race; they are working so hard for our home grand prix. After Silverstone and Assen we wish to come back to the podium!”
Lorenzo will start Sunday's race 28 points behind Stoner.