Just as a year ago, Marc Marquez held off the Ducatis of Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo for pole position at the Red Bull Ring.
The Honda rider's next task is to try and overturn last year's final turn Austrian defeat at the hands of Dovizioso, with memories of last weekend's double Brno defeat by Dovizioso and Lorenzo also fresh in his memory.
"Tomorrow we will try to fight in Ducati’s land. We will try to be competitive and try to fight against them," Marquez said.
"Dovi is very fast, Lorenzo is very fast. We were faster than I expected [in qualifying] because we didn’t ride a lot in dry conditions and we were only one tenth from the lap record.
"But the two Ducati riders, they want to win too so they are pushing.
"I hope to arrive [with them] in the last lap. I know that we will arrive, if not together, then very, very close.
"But I hope to arrive in another feeling compared last year, because last year I arrived on the limit and I tried [to pass Dovizioso] because I needed to try, but I didn’t believe.
"This year I hope to arrive in a different situation, but I cannot forget that Dovi is 68 points behind me in the championship, Lorenzo 76. They are far, so it is better to lose 5 points or 9 points than 25."
Helping Marquez's challenge will be the addition of some unnamed new parts from Monday's Brno test.
"I cannot say what we try, but it was one of the new things that we get in Brno. We started with our current base like we use all the year, but then on the last run [on Friday] we introduced something that we tried in Brno and was working well. Here is working good, too. This is positive," he said.
The last sector is so impressive from Marquez. The last 4 or 5 corners it’s amazing the speed he can scrub just on the side of the tire with little brakes.— Ben Spies (@BenSpies11) August 11, 2018
The slow corners and long straights at the Red Bull Ring plays into the hands of the Desmosedici's fearsome engine power, which Marquez hopes he can negate through the twisty final section.
Asked about a tweet from former MotoGP rider Ben Spies regarding the final sector, the Spaniard revealed the Ducati riders have already responded:
"Is left corners. Last year there was where I make the difference compared to Dovi. This year Dovi studied well and he improved, and I see. From FP1 he changed the line and he improve.
"Tomorrow will improve Jorge, so will be more equal everything. We are in MotoGP. Everybody is very, very fast. In sector 3 I feel good, but is because left corner."
Marquez's closest title rival, Valentino Rossi, qualified just 14th. The Italian is 49 points behind.