Rally Japan leader Petter Solberg says he is feeling better - but still not perfect as he aims to defend his advantage on the second day of the Sapporo-based event.
Solberg is suffering from flu, but starts today 9.4 seconds ahead of Ford's Mikko Hirvonen. The Solberg Citroen driver remains adamant that his decision not to slow down on the final stage in order to benefit from a better place on the road remains the right one.
"I can still win this rally," he said. "I could have won a few rallies this year, it's about getting the package all together. We'll see if everything comes together on this event. I don't worry about today and being first on the road."
Solberg added that his illness was the worst he had known while competing, saying: "I've never had anything like this on an event. This morning I feel better, but I've still got the headache and I'm still blocked up.
"I don't notice when the helmet goes on, but in the long stages it's difficult to focus. It doesn't help when the temperature is going up in the car, I start to sweat more and it becomes uncomfortable."