News 13 Aug 2011

Pedrosa starts Brno weekend in dominant fashion on Friday

Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa was fastest on Friday at Brno in the Czech Republic.

Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa was fastest on Friday at Brno in the Czech Republic.

The MotoGP class returned to action after a two and a half week break for the opening session of the Cardion ab Grand Prix České republiky, with Dani Pedrosa emerging the fastest man ahead of Casey Stoner and Marco Simoncelli.

The 25-year-old Repsol Honda rider set off into the second practice session at a blazing pace after crushing the field in the first outing of the day, though was unable to better his time of 1:56.328 that he achieved in the earlier session.

“The feeling was very good today from the beginning,” Pedrosa said. “The bike was working well from the first round and we could move ahead, improving little by little in both practice sessions.

“I’m very happy with the job we did in both sessions and I think we can still improve and be ready for both the qualifying practice and the race. I guess the other rivals will also do the same, so we have to keep focused.

“Today I rode alone all the time, maybe tomorrow I can compare a little with other riders to see where are they stronger or weaker than me.”

The rest of the field responded, with team mate Stoner moving into second in the later half of the practice with a time of 1:56.831, an improvement of 0.436s over his FP1 time and the only other rider to break the 1:57 barrier.

“Today hasn’t been that positive to be honest, we seem to be having a similar start to our weekend in Laguna and aren’t sure which direction to take at the moment,” Stoner explained. “The feeling in the front is very vague, our corner entry and mid-turn isn’t that great.

“We also need to find a lot more grip in the rear as I’m struggling on the edge of the tyre and exit of the corner. We have a long way to go before I feel happy with the set up and there are many areas we can improve, so tomorrow we will be trying a lot of different things on both bikes and prepare as best we can for qualifying”.

Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team) was unshaken by his crash at the end of FP1, improving his time by three tenths with a lap of 1:57.136, keeping him third fastest of the day.

Last year’s race winner Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) improved his time by four tenths with a lap of 1:57.174 to place him in fourth in the standings.

Andrea Dovizioso was fifth quickest of the day, posting a best time of 1:57.535 on his Repsol Honda RC212V, ahead of Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing) in sixth position by a margin of 0.096s.

Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team), who finished fifth last year at Brno, improved on his FP1 time by over a second with a time of 1:57.745, moving him into seventh, while team mate Nicky Hayden was down in 14th for the day.

Álvaro Bautista rode his Rizla Suzuki into eighth place, while wildcard John Hopkins, who returns for a second race aboard the Rizla Suzuki, set an impressive 10th fastest time.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow and Colin Edwards were ninth and 12th, respectively, while Héctor Barberá (Mapfre Aspar) time of 1:58.120 placed him in 11th for the day.

MotoGP rookie Karel Abraham (Cardion ab Motoracing) was down in 17th at his home race, while Randy de Puniet (Pramac Racing), who is riding with injuries from a crash in qualifying at Laguna Seca that put him out of the race, had a fall in the last minutes of the FP2 session.

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