Dani Pedrosa reckons he could have closed the gap to Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner in Phillip Island MotoGP qualifying had rain not affected the final minutes of the session.
Pedrosa qualified nine tenths of a second off his runaway polesitter Honda team-mate Stoner, and 0.4s down on championship rival Lorenzo's Yamaha.
But Pedrosa said he did not get a chance to show his true pace as, by the time he found the right set-up, the weather had turned. Drizzle hampered riders in the final minutes of the session.
"We worked hard on the settings for the bike," Pedrosa explained.
"It was a little difficult in the middle of the session. I chose a bike that was not really perfect, but finally at the end I could get a feeling.
"It was just that the rain came for the last five minutes and I couldn't improve my laptime.
"But anyway it's the front row and that's important.
"I'm just hoping to have good luck and do a good race tomorrow."
Pedrosa heads into the Australian Grand Prix having won five of the last six races, his run only interrupted by his disastrous San Marino GP.
That leaves Pedrosa 23 points behind Lorenzo with just two races to go and 50 points available.