Tonight will be the first night since 2009 that Valentino Rossi has gone to bed knowing he could be crowned MotoGP world champion the following day.
The Italian starts the penultimate Malaysian round with an eleven point lead over Movistar Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, which Rossi will need to increase to 26 points to claim a long awaited tenth world title on Sunday.
Otherwise the championship will go down to the final round at Valencia, which Rossi confirmed is the most likely outcome.
“Sincerely I don't think something very different because I don't think that tomorrow will be easy [to win the title]. But will be possible,” he said. “Sincerely now the pressure is high so during the night you start to think about the tracks, the corners, Valencia and everything.
“But it's also quite good. Less sleep, but more power when you wake up. For sure this qualifying makes me feel more quiet. Yesterday I was worried because everything was good until I put in the last two tyres and I expected to make a good time attack. But unfortunately I had some problem, some vibration, some chattering, so I go down into eighth place and Jorge was [fastest].
“But today I demonstrate a better pace, better rhythm. My schedule will be quite normal. Go to the hotel, eat something and try to go to sleep early - but it never happen!”
The record-breaking Italian added: “The feeling is very similar every time [before a championship chance]. For sure the first time is something more special but the feeling is the same.
“You feel more excited, difficult to sleep with a lot of energy, you feel the pressure. But when you open your eyes it is like you can open a little bit more and you can see more clearly the colours and what happens around you.
“But I think it will be not this night, because I think it [the championship] will finish in Valencia.”
Rossi will start Sunday's race on the outside of the front row, behind the Repsol Hondas of Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez. Lorenzo starts from fourth place.