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Pedrosa holds the momentum ahead of qualifying

Pedrosa holds the momentum ahead of qualifying

In the final practice session before qualifying this afternoon (Saturday), the Repsol Honda rider recorded the fastest time of the weekend so far at the Gran Premio bwin de España. Pedrosa edged out his team-mate Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda) and Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team).

The Spaniard improved his best time set on Friday by just over 0.7s with his fastest lap of 1’38.864. His advantage over the Australian was 0.307s after FP3 on a circuit which he has finished in the top two for all five of his MotoGP races there. Stoner has not had the best results at this circuit in the past, but will be looking to build on his win in Qatar. His victory at Losail means he was the first rider to win in the 800cc era of MotoGP on bikes from two different manufacturers

After hot and windy conditions on Friday, it was overcast for FP3, without the strong winds which hampered the riders yesterday afternoon. All the riders set quicker times than yesterday and it was Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team) who set some impressive runs during practice which gave him the third fastest time, 0.491s off Pedrosa. The Italian finished 11th here in 2010 and will be looking to consolidate on his fifth place finish at the opening round of the season.

Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) who made his GP debut in the 125cc race at Jerez in 2002 was fourth quickest, a further 0.818s behind his compatriot. Fastest Ducati of the day was Randy de Puniet (Pramac Racing) who finished ninth here in 2010 and ended FP3 in fifth place, one position ahead of Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team).

British rider Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) improved to record the seventh fastest time of the session on his first visit to the Jerez circuit and was the second quickest Yamaha. His team-mate, Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) was eighth, 1.324s off the pace, one place ahead of fellow American Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing).

Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) whose best result at this circuit in the premier class is 6th which he achieved last season, took the final spot in the top ten after a high speed crash on Friday and could not match the pace of his Repsol Honda team-mates who led the session yet again. A difference of 1.346s covered the top ten riders in the session.


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