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Pedrosa fastest in MotoGP warmup amidst crash and controversy

Pedrosa fastest in MotoGP warmup amidst crash and controversy

Dani Pedrosa stepped up the pace in the MotoGP warmup ahead of today's season-opening Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar, but then suffered a slightly embarrassing topple from his RC212V during a slow down lap.

Dani Pedrosa stepped up the pace in the MotoGP warmup ahead of today's season-opening Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar, but then suffered a slightly embarrassing topple from his RC212V during a slow down lap.

The Spaniard had lapped quickest during the 20 minute morning session at the desert venue, going round in 1'56.522, but was slowing to allow another rider to pass as he entered a corner after the conclusion of the session. Dipping into the corner on cold tyres, Pedrosa lost control of his 800cc machine.

Just behind the former 250cc World Champion at the early morning session were Rizla Suzuki's John Hopkins, Ducati Marlboro's Casey Stoner and Honda Gresini's Marco Melandri, while Kawasaki Racing's Randy de Puniet completed the top five.

Valentino Rossi, who starts in pole position, and Fiat Yamaha's Colin Edwards were ninth and tenth fastest this morning, although both have stated that they feel very comfortable with their race settings.

After crashing yesterday but then stating he would be fit to participate today, the already injured Ilmor GP rider Jeremy McWilliams did not take part in the warm-up and is reported to be doubtful for the first race of the season, which gets underway at 3pm local time (GMT +3).

There were two controversial moves at the end of the MotoGP session, with Pedrosa making a practice start from the grid. Such a move goes against the procedure introduced at Wednesday's riders' briefing, where they were told that a grid start would only be permitted at the end of the first free practice session.

Alex Barros may also come under scrutiny over the coming days, having seemingly laid down rubber on his grid position after turning off the traction control on his Desmosedici GP7.

Alex de Angelis was the fastest of the 250cc riders in their warmup. The 23 year-old from San Marino lapped in 2´00.659 just ahead of Spanish trio Hector Barbera, Alvaro Bautista and Jorge Lorenzo, all four riders onboard Aprilia machinery. The fifth quickest rider was KTM's Hiroshi Aoyama, almost a second behind De Angelis, while his Japanese compatriot Yuki Takahashi, in sixth place on the timesheet, was the fastest Honda rider in the warm up.

Meanwhile, Gabor Talmacsi was again the man on the pace in the 125cc class. The Hungarian Bancaja Aspar rider, who has dominated free practice and qualification over the opening two days of the Grand Prix at the Losail International circuit, recorded the quickest time of the morning on the last of his nine warm-up laps.

Talmacsi, who starts the race in pole position, lapped in 2.'06.297, just four hundredths of a second quicker than team-mate Hector Faubel who is second on the grid. Two additional Aprilia riders - Mattia Pasini and Pablo Nieto - were the third and fourth fastest this morning, followed by Tomoyoshi Koyama (KTM) and Lukas Pesek (Derbi).

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, Commercialbank GRAND PRIX OF QATAR, WUP

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