What the track in Cairns lacks in steep and technical terrain, it makes up for with flat out speed. So fast, that any mistake can cost seconds, but more likely, will end your weekend in an instant. Add the spotty light and loose, blown-out dust that covers every inch of the track, and threading that fine line of control all of a sudden isn't as straight forward as it initially appeared to be.
As racers took to the hill that will decide the World Champion for the first practice sessions, the laid back vibe of previous days at the beach quickly faded. The mini vacation that tropical paradise Cairns provides was over, and serious business was now at hand. The sun was blazing and the dust was certainly flying as speeds progressed and the usual suspects were turning heads. But, with no timed training like we normally see on the first day of a World Cup to confirm observations of speed with fact, it is just speculation as to who's ready to rock right now.
Tomorrow, the clocks will start ticking and they will give us a better idea of where everyone stacks up. So until then, enjoy this visual delight of rock smashing, and roost spraying through the hot and humid Aussie jungle.