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Pedrosa tops Le Mans MotoGP FP1 timesheet

Pedrosa tops Le Mans MotoGP FP1 timesheet

This morning's MotoGP class first free practice session at Le Mans saw the usual suspects at the top of the timesheet, as they got their preparations for the fifth race of the season underway at the famous French track.

This morning's MotoGP class first free practice session at Le Mans saw the usual suspects at the top of the timesheet as they got their preparations for the fifth race of the season underway at the famous French track. Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa topped the timesheet after the hour-long session, which commenced at 10am local time.

Pedrosa lapped in 1'35.699, which kept him 0.071s ahead of the session's second quickest participant Valentino Rossi, with the pair likely to be doing battle throughout the Alice Grand Prix de France weekend.

With the practice run taking place in slightly damp conditions Pedrosa's best time was 1.709s slower than his own record circuit best lap set in qualifying on 990cc machinery last year, at a track where it is expected that the 800cc bikes will break records this weekend as the weather improves.

Perhaps it is no surprise that the 21 year-old Spaniard has set the early pace as he has a fantastic record at the French track having won twice there as a 250cc rider and once in his 125cc days - whilst last year his third place in the Le Mans MotoGP race was his third podium in his rookie premier class season.

Another fairly encouraging sign for Honda in this early session was the presence of World Champion Nicky Hayden in third place on the timesheet, especially given that the rider himself is predicting another tough weekend in France, with confidence in the front end paramount at such a stop-start circuit – a quality which the Kentucky Kid has lacked thus far in 2007. He lapped 0.209s behind colleague Pedrosa and his progress in France will be of key interest to the vast majority of MotoGP fans as his 800cc adaptation continues.

Carlos Checa (Honda LCR) and World Championship leader Casey Stoner (Ducati Marlboro) completed the top five, all lapping within 0.252s of Pedrosa's best time.

The moist conditions also resulted in an off track excursion for Rossi, without any serious consequences, whilst Honda Gresini's Marco Melandri - ninth quickest - and Kawasaki Racing's stand-in rider Fonsi Nieto - slowest on the timesheet - suffered similar minor hiccups.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, ALICE GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE, FP1

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