Nicky Hayden underlined his current wet weather form by dominating this afternoon's soaking-wet second practice session at Phillip Island, lapping the high-speed seaside track 0.755secs faster than closest rival Andrea Dovizioso.
The American has been using his Michelin rain tyres to impressive effect recently, topping last weekend's rain-hit opening session at Motegi and finishing second in the hurricane-hit Indianapolis GP two weeks earlier.
"This morning it wasn't great to be in eleventh, but this afternoon it was nice to be fastest in the wet and consistently really quick at the end, things were feeling really good," said the Repsol Honda rider. "My best rain lap time was only seven seconds slower than my best this morning, and it was real wet, so that's down to some good Michelin rain tyres."
As Hayden mentioned, he was only eleventh in the dry morning session, and remains concerned by traction problems.
"Honestly I could have done with some more dry track time to sort out some problems we had this morning," he said. "I was struggling with traction, and without traction here you're not going anywhere. We have got some things to try with the bike set-up, which we couldn't try so much in the wet, but hopefully we can use tomorrow.
"I need to be going faster in the dry, we've definitely got some work to do, so we'll keep pushing and see what the weather does tomorrow. I love this track, I love racing at speed, it's a great thrill, I just need to find some edge grip. If we can find that I can be fast in the dry too."
Bridgestone shod team-mate Dani Pedrosa was sixth in the dry and eighth in the wet.
"I am feeling quite confident so far because we've had a useful first day of practice and the bike seems to be working fine," said the Spaniard, currently battling Casey stoner for second in the world championship. "Of course, we do need to keep working hard and improve our race pace, especially in the dry, because Stoner was really fast in the dry this morning. In particular we need to work on the balance of the bike, which is very important here.
"This afternoon in the wet, I started out quite cautiously, then started to push a bit harder towards the end of the session. My times improved lap by lap and I needed two or three more laps to finish in a better position. Anyway to be the first day, I'm quite happy. I hope that the weather is kind to us tomorrow, so that we can continue working in machine set-up on a dry racetrack," he added.