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Pedrosa picks up the pace for top time at Jerez test

Pedrosa picks up the pace for top time at Jerez test

Spaniard faster than own race record lap as final test of 2008 opens.

The MotoGP `big guns´ waited until after lunch to appear on track in Jerez on Wednesday, but when they eventually emerged they did so with a bang. Dani Pedrosa, Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo –the highest placing riders from 2008 in action at the latest official test- made up the top trio on the first of a two-day residency.

Pedrosa´s late appearance on track did little to hamper his progress, as he took the new Honda RC212V around the circuit where he earned the first of his two race victories this past season with a 1´39.525 lap. The Repsol Honda man was the only rider to go round in under 1´40, besting Rossi and Lorenzo as he had done at last March´s Grand Prix in southern Spain. Pedrosa was comprehensively faster than his own race record from that round.

Pedrosa split his time between the 2009 spec Honda and a 2008 model, although his quickest time came with the updated chassis and engine of the latest machine.

Rossi´s time of 1´40.135 was over half a second slower than that of his rival, whilst Lorenzo was a further second back on the pacesetting duo in his second test with Bridgestone tyres. Despite the move to a single rubber supplier for 2009, Rossi and Lorenzo´s Fiat Yamaha garage remains divided by the wall put in place at the beginning of the year.

Colin Edwards and James Toseland were also looking to adapt their Yamaha M1 machinery and riding styles to new tyres, beginning their first test with Bridgestone for the Tech 3 Yamaha team. Having exchanged chief mechanics for the upcoming campaign, the duo´s results at the end of the day were remarkably similar; both rode in the mid 1´41´s in the top six, with Edwards the faster of the two. San Carlo Honda Gresini´s Alex de Angelis separated the Anglo-American connection on the timesheet.

All Ducati riders had the chance to ride with a version of the Desmosedici GP9, Niccolo Canepa the fastest for the Italian factory in ninth. Factory rider Nicky Hayden was assisted by Casey Stoner in the garage as both looked to define the direction for the 2009 project.

Conditions in Jerez were cold but sunny, and riders remained on track to make the most of the last remaining light between 5pm and 6pm. Testing concludes tomorrow, before the winter test embargo comes into place on December 1st.

MotoGP Official Test –Jerez: Official Times Day One

1. Dani Pedrosa – Repsol Honda - 1´39.525 (41)
2. Valentino Rossi – Fiat Yamaha - 1´40.135 (39)
3. Jorge Lorenzo - Fiat Yamaha – 1´41.163 (51)
4. Colin Edwards - Tech 3 Yamaha - 1´41.390 (49)
5. Alex De Angelis - San Carlo Honda Gresini - 1´41.468 (53)
6. James Toseland - Tech 3 Yamaha- 1´41.539 (50)
7. Andrea Dovizioso - Repsol Honda - 1´41.655 (48)
8. Toni Elias – San Carlo Honda Gresini – 1´41.679 (74)
9. Niccolo Canepa - Alice Team Ducati - 1´42.074 (50)
10. Nicky Hayden – Ducati Marlboro - 1´42.098 (69)
11. Mika Kallio – Alice Team Ducati - 1´42.837 (58)
12. Sete Gibernau – Onde 2000 Ducati - 1´42.943 (40)
13. Vittoriano Guareschi – Ducati - 1´43.642 (36)
14. Yuki Takahashi - Scot Racing Honda – 1´44.360 (64)

MotoGP, 2008

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