The last two MotoGP races have taken place under wet conditions, and Honda's Daijiro Kato has completed just seven laps of them - but today he put his rain misery behind him to slide his RCV to provisonal pole for the Pacific Grand Prix.

On top of the fear of the rain, Kato will not have good memories of last year's race here when he suffered his first ever GP race crash, however he aims to rid himself of those demons with a good performance in front of a partisan crowd.

The Gresini rider dominated practice today as he slid and spun his back wheel around the 4.801km circuit, leading several times throughout the hour, and finishing with a flourish to take provisional pole from under the nose of Max Biaggi in a time of 1 minute 49.052 seconds.

"It's only Friday, yet I feel on fine form," said the diminutive Japanese rider, adding: "Honda really have worked on the bike and I'm very hopeful for this weekend. I was told I was sliding about a lot, but I simply felt comfortable and quick with a good all-round setting."

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