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Pedrosa leads the way in first MotoGP outing

Pedrosa leads the way in first MotoGP outing

At a circuit where he has enjoyed excellent results in the past, Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa was the man on the pace this morning as the MotoGP riders took to the Mugello track for their first session of the Gran Premio d'Italia Alice weekend.

At a circuit where he has enjoyed excellent results in the past, Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa was the man on the pace this morning as the MotoGP riders took to the Mugello track for their first session of the Gran Premio d'Italia Alice weekend.

The session took place at 10am local time in relatively cool temperatures under grey skies in the Tuscan hills, with moisture remaining on track after some overnight rain.

Pedrosa has always been a fan of the Mugello track and he led the way this morning with a time of 1'50.743, which was nearly two seconds off the circuit best lap record held by Sete Gibernau – though that record is expected to be broken by the 800cc machinery over the next three days.

Having won the Italian Grand Prix as a 250cc rider en route to his quarter litre class World title in 2005 and with two additional Mugello podiums to his name, Pedrosa will hope to continue his early Friday form through the sixth race weekend of the season.

However, he will face a stiff challenge from Valentino Rossi who has won the last five MotoGP races at his home venue. Fiat Yamaha's Rossi was second quickest in this morning's run-out, lapping just 0.158s slower than his Spanish rival, despite suffering an off-track excursion at one stage.

The increasingly consistent John Hopkins was third quickest onboard his Rizla Suzuki machinery, lapping 0.279s behind Pedrosa as he made good use of the new engine parts that have been fitted to his GSV-R800. Fourth fastest was current World Championship leader Casey Stoner of Ducati Marlboro, while Carlos Checa of Honda LCR completed the top five.

Hopkins team-mate Chris Vermeulen will hope to up the pace later today having won the last round of the championship at Le Mans, although the Aussie Suzuki rider admits he is still learning his way around Mugello, this being just his second visit to the Italian track.

Propping up the timesheets in 20th position meanwhile was Kurtis Roberts who is returning to MotoGP this weekend to help his father's Team Roberts outfit improve their KR212V machinery. The American's best lap was 4.543s slower than Pedrosa's.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA ALICE, FP1

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