Valentino Rossi cannot win the 2008 MotoGP World Championship tomorrow at Indy, but he can put it even further beyond reach - and might do so without even turning a wheel if, as forecast, torrential rain hits the circuit on Sunday.
Rossi should start the inaugural Indianapolis Grand Prix from only his second pole position of the year and with a huge 75 point lead over reigning world champion Casey Stoner, with just 125 points remaining.
However, there is a serious chance that the race might be rescheduled for earlier in the day - or perhaps even cancelled - if the heavy rain that forced all riders to pull in early during Friday afternoon's free practice session returns.
Rossi confirmed that, in the dry, the new Indy road course will produce a great race, but warned that a repeat of Friday's conditions will put the grand prix in doubt.
"I'm very happy to get the chance to ride on this circuit in the dry, it's a great track and I had a lot of fun today," said Rossi. "It's technical and difficult, which I like, and it seems to suit our bike and tyres well.
"There are places to pass, especially turn one and turn ten, and the grip of the new asphalt is much better in the dry. If it's like this tomorrow, then we can have a great race!
"Unfortunately this seems unlikely so we will have to wait and see what the situation is tomorrow at race time," he explained. "If it's 'normal' rain then we will be okay, if it's like [Friday's heavy rain] then we have to take a decision all together about racing."
Rossi's comments were echoed by much of the premier-class field, all of whom are desperate to race, but realistic about the chaotic impact heavy rain will have on certain poorly-drained parts of the new road circuit.
"If it [rains] like yesterday morning then we can race,
but if it is like it was at the end of the second session then it will be impossible unfortunately," confirmed Tech 3's James Toseland. "That would be a great shame because even in torrential rain, three-quarters of the track is great for grip. On the old tarmac the water drains better than I've ever seen."
If the race is cancelled then Rossi will need to score just one more point than Stoner at the following Japanese Grand Prix to be crowned MotoGP champion for the first time since 2005.
Rossi beat Stoner by just 0.084secs to claim pole in Saturday's thrilling dry qualifying session, while Sunday's race is scheduled to be the first motorcycle event at Indy since 1909 and first ever with MotoGP machines.
Rossi's Michelin-shod team-mate Jorge Lorenzo completes the front row.