Scott Redding second at weather-hit Phillip Island
When Scott Redding finally got on track at Phillip Island this afternoon, the British rider was in stunning form to clock the second fastest time in the opening Moto2 practice session.
The Marc VDS Racing rider had to wait until 5pm to kick off his preparations after earlier torrential rain and howling winds had battered the coastal circuit to delay the start of practice by two hours.
By the time the Moto2 field took to the track for the first time in Australia, the track was dry after rain had abated and the strong wind rapidly dried the 2.764-miles circuit.
Redding, who was forced to retire with heat exhaustion just five days ago in the extreme Sepang heat in Malaysia, posted a best time of 1.36.313 to finish just 0.018s behind Italian Alex de Angelis.
Redding was comfortably ahead of third placed Fonsi Nieto while Toni Elias, the first ever Moto2 world champion, was down in 15th place and nearly two seconds behind the Gloucestershire rider.
The 17-year-old said: “Conditions weren't ideal today, but it was a pretty good session overall. We did two long runs and got faster with each lap, despite issues with the weather and the traffic on track.
"The wind was a real problem everywhere on the circuit, but especially the first four turns. Coming down the straight I hardly had to brake for Doohan Corner, as just sitting up in the wind was enough to slow you down.
"It was hard to get the bike into turn four as well, because the wind was getting under the front of the bike and lifting you back up.
"But, it was the same for everyone and it didn't seem to cause us too many problems. We'll make a few small changes to the bike overnight but, overall, I'm pretty happy with how things have gone today."