News 21 Oct 2011

Pedrosa leads Repsol Honda dominance in Friday practice at Sepang

Aussie world champion Casey Stoner second quickest in Malaysia.

Dani Pedrosa led Honda's charge at Sepang during Friday practice.

Dani Pedrosa led Honda's charge at Sepang during Friday practice.

The Repsol Honda team swept the first day of the Shell Advance Malaysian Grand Prix, with Dani Pedrosa leading by a full eight tenths ahead of Casey Stoner and a further six tenths ahead of Andrea Dovizioso.

Pedrosa dominated the MotoGP field on Friday, leading a Honda sweep of the top five positions with a blistering best lap of 2’01.250, a seven tenths improvement over his leading FP1 time and six tenths quicker than the lap record.

Stoner followed in second with a time of 2’02.070 with Dovizioso setting the third fastest time, though a full 1.414 seconds behind the untouchable pace of Pedrosa. The Italian rider was one of only two riders who did not improve on their morning practice times.

San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Marco Simoncelli was fourth with a time of 2’02.823, an improvement of half a second over his morning time, while Hiroshi Aoyama completed a Honda top five lapping one tenth behind his Italian teammate.

Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) was the first Yamaha in the timings with a best effort of 2’02.991, improving by a margin of 8 tenths with a lap set halfway through the second practice. Rizla Suzuki’s Álvaro Bautista followed the Texan by 0.123s to land seventh for the day.

Pramac Racing’s Randy de Puniet was the first Ducati in the timings, the Frenchman’s best lap of 2’03.159 six tenths quicker than his FP1 lap and the final within two seconds of Pedrosa’s flier, followed by Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing) in ninth.

Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) completed the top ten of the day with a 2’03.318, one tenth quicker than Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) in 11th and three tenths ahead of the Valentino Rossi’s Ducati in 13th.

Wildcard John Hopkins (Rizla Suzuki) was 14th for the day, 0.016s quicker than Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) while Héctor Barberá (Mapfre Aspar) completed 11 laps, following just four completed in the morning, to land 17th as the Spanish rider recovers from surgery on the fractured collarbone he sustained just two weeks ago in Japan.

Replacement rider for injured Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo, Katsuyuki Nakasuga, started the day strong but crashed in both sessions, ending the day in 18th.

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