Casey Stoner will start Sunday's Czech Republic Grand Prix holding the upper hand over MotoGP World Championship leader Valentino Rossi, although his Laguna Seca 'experience' means the Australian will be taking little for granted.
The reigning MotoGP world champion has mastered both dry and wet conditions at Brno so far this weekend, edging out US Grand Prix winner Rossi by 0.189secs in the dry on Friday then lapping 1.189secs clear of the Italian during Saturday's wet qualifying session to secure his sixth pole in a row - a new record since the introduction of the four-stroke MotoGP class in 2002.
"We went out at the start and tried to basically put a good few laps together because we still didn't really know what weather was going to do," explained Stoner. "It looked like it might clear up but it actually did the opposite. I still wasn't totally happy with the set-up so I came in to make some changes but when we went back out there was two or three inches of standing water in some places and the bike was aquaplaning everywhere.
"We knew that as long as the rain kept coming as it did then nobody was going to be able to go much quicker because the track conditions were so difficult. Once again we have worked well together as a team, Bridgestone have given us some excellent rain tyres and we're on pole, so that is very satisfying."
However, Stoner had dominated to an even greater extent heading into the Laguna Seca race - when his performance advantage ultimately counted for little in the face of a persistent attack from Rossi.
That stunning duel came to a premature end when Stoner made a mistake under braking and the Australian, who has declared his intention to at least last the distance with Rossi should the same situation arise this weekend, unsurprisingly remains cautious.
"The points are not dished out until tomorrow and anything can happen, especially in the wet, so we'll just stay focused, stay relaxed, and hope the weather stays dry!" concluded Casey.