Stoner back in March
Newly-crowned world MotoGP champion Casey Stoner has revealed how his plot to snare the elite series crown was hatched during a low-key Phillip Island test seven months ago.
It was during that sunny, summer's day the 21-year-old first realised he had the potential to topple the world's best riders.
And from the moment, the others - five-times world champion Valentino Rossi included - never stood a chance.
And as he leaves his outback hideaway near Tamworth to return to the Island for Sunday's Australian Grand Prix, Stoner recalls the day that his championship chase kick-started.
It was during a Phillip Island pre-season test session in February, when Stoner unnerved his rivals with a grand prix race simulation at sub-record speed on a Ducati 800.
The only spectators were the seagulls and rival teams from Honda and Suzuki, all a little stunned, like Stoner, by their stopwatches.
"It was like, wow, it's only February and the bike still has a lot of capability left in it, plus I knew I was only going to get fitter and stronger with my training," Stoner said.
"My times during the Island race simulation scared everybody a little bit, and the team were really happy with the way things were going.
"This showed what we could do when everything was right. And it all went from there."
Surprised as he was, Stoner was determined to ensure he rode to maximise the bike's potential and during several of his victories lapped well within himself.
"After the test at the Island I didn't want to say too much but I knew then that I could be at least running up front."
From the Island in February to the title-clinching race at Motegi in Japan just two weeks ago, Stoner won eight of 14 races including some breathtaking battles against Rossi.
Now Stoner is aiming to add a home race victory to his collection for the season in which he became MotoGP's second-youngest world champion, behind American legend Freddie Spencer.
"I've got my title dream and now I want to win at Phillip Island," Stoner said.
"I believe the Ducati package is good enough to do it but we still have to get it done.
"It's the one race that I haven't been able to win yet. And I suppose that's my goal now for the season, winning the Australian GP.
"I'll be working hard to win at the Island and it will be a nice feeling if I can pull it off.
"Now I'm going there without too much pressure or stress and it should be a lot of fun this year."
Stoner has spent much of the past week relaxing with family and friends, fishing and hunting on his property near Tamworth, unwinding from the pressures of winning the championship as a boyish 21-year-old.
He turns 22 on October 16, just two days after the Australian race.
If he wins his home race it would cap off a near-perfect championship season and he would join fellow Australians Wayne Gardner and Mick Doohan as grand prix winners at Phillip Island.
Is it weird in here, or is it just me?