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Pedrosa tops day one at Motegi

Dani Pedrosa led a Repsol Honda top three on day one of the Grand Prix of Japan, with Casey Stoner second and Andrea Dovizioso following third on the timesheet.

Under darkening skies, the MotoGP class headed out for the second free practice session on Friday which saw no fewer than six riders run off the track during the outing.

All but one of the riders in the field improved upon their earlier times with the top four spots of the day going to the Factory Hondas. Dani Pedrosa took over the top spot with 21 minutes to go and set a new fast lap of 1’46.790 ahead of team mate Stoner by a margin of 0.054s. Andrea Dovizioso followed with a 1’46.952, an improvement of eight tenths over his FP1 time, with San Carlo Honda Gresini Team’s Marco Simoncelli occupying the fourth spot after leading in the early part of the session.

Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) was fifth in the combined times, posting a lap at 1’47.310, six tenths better than his earlier time, while Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team), who had been third in FP1, bettered his earlier time by four tenths to end the day in sixth.

Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini) stepped up his pace by a full second, putting the Japanese rider seventh with a time of 1’47.785, two tenths ahead of Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi in eighth. Héctor Barberá (Mapfre Aspar) ended the day ninth just 0.02s ahead of Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) in tenth.

Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies was the sole rider who did not improve in the outing, the American retired from the session after completing just 5 laps after exhaustion took over him due to fighting an illness the past two days. He checked himself into the medical center and will try to rest enough to participate in tomorrow’s events.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2011, FP2

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