The Tame the Taipan track has been compared to the legendary Burke Mountain track; it's short, steep, and has waves in the pavement that are itching to toss people. Today rain was added to the mix, and it initially looked as though riders would spend more time sideways than pointed down the hill.
Naturally it was the Canadians who showed the way forward. The first was Kyle Martin, who in his first run blasted through the final chicane at twice the speed of anyone else. Later on Dane Hanna did even better, and if it stays wet, he'll start favourite.
Of the locals, Josh Evans and Harry Clarke looked best situated to master the slippery beast.
Despite better weather being predicted for the next few days, rain always remains a possibility in this lush Gold Coast hinterland. A dry track will be a totally different beast, requiring different lines, less sliding, and much higher speed. Depending on the weather, today's wet practice may be an unreliable guide for the rest of the event.