Michel Fabrizio feels well prepared for the weekend after coming away from provisional qualifying clutching an early pole position.
Fabrizio, who has stood on the podium in each of the last six races, was on fine form throughout practice and qualifying before producing a decisive quick lap in the closing stages to snatch pole position from Ben Spies.
Maintaining his current run of good form on the Ducati Xerox, while Fabrizio admits traffic hampered his progress for much of the day, he was nonetheless surprised to have emerged in charge.
“I am really happy because I must say that I didn't expect to be the fastest out there today. The only annoying thing was the traffic; every time I was pushing on a fast lap, I would find someone in front of me, the only rider I didn't find was Nori!
“They say it may rain tomorrow and I can't say how we'll go if the track is wet but I'm feeling confident and am satisfied with today's work because if and when it's hot again on Sunday I'll know that we are well prepared.”
Championship leader Noriyuki Haga, meanwhile, was keeping things 'under control' after a quietly emerging in sixth position, a mere four tenths off the ultimate pace.
“For now all is under control. I have a good feeling with the bike and I'm pretty happy with the setting we tried today. Despite the heat I didn't have too many problems with the tyres, and if it hadn't been for traffic that I came across, I would have finished today in third or fourth – we know that we have the race pace.
“The forecast predicts rain for tomorrow and maybe Sunday too but I am confident that whatever the weather we'll be ready for battle come race day.”