Valentino Rossi said the weather conditions in first practice at Phillip Island were close to being impossible to ride in.
Today's session was delayed by just under two hours following heavy overnight rain that left the track flooded in places. It remained very wet for much of the practice hour, and the situation was exacerbated by very strong winds and low temperatures. Forecasts suggest similar or worse conditions for tomorrow's qualifying session.
"This weather is unbelievable and it was really at the limit of what you can race motorcycles in today," said Rossi. "It's even more amazing because yesterday was beautiful! I hope it will be better tomorrow, but it doesn't look too hopeful.
"My setting here in the wet was OK and I feel quite happy on the bike, but I didn't want to push too hard in these conditions. I think we can improve it more, but we need to wait and see how the weather is tomorrow. We hope for sun!"
Yamaha team manager Davide Brivio felt the crew could find more pace for Rossi, whose cautious pace left him only seventh fastest today.
"The bike is feeling OK but we still need some more time to work a bit more on the setting for Valentino in these difficult conditions, we tried a lot of different things today but it looks like we can still make him more comfortable than this," said Brivio. "It's very wet and it looks like it could be even worse tomorrow, but we will keep working in this way and we hope to improve the time a bit."
Rossi's teammate Jorge Lorenzo was quickest in the session, and delighted with his pace having often struggled in the wet earlier in his career.
"Today was the first day on the bike after we won the title and I am still very happy," said the newly crowned MotoGP champion. "We can't stop now, we have to keep going and finish this season in the best way possible, working for the future.
"The conditions today were really hard – wet, cold and windy. I am very happy to be so fast in rain, because it didn't use to be this way, but we need to be prepared because it could be a hard weekend. I would like to ride in the dry, of course, but we will have to wait and see what happens."