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Pedrosa sets FP1 pace in Malaysia

Pedrosa sets FP1 pace in Malaysia

The Repsol Honda team were the three fastest in the first MotoGP outing at the Sepang International Circuit, with Pedrosa leading followed by newly crowned World Champion Stoner second and Dovizioso third.

The MotoGP class began the Shell Advance Malaysian Grand Prix weekend with Dani Pedrosa jumping to the top of the timings shortly after the bikes hit the track, taking over the top spot from team mate Andrea Dovizioso. The Spaniard’s lap of 2’01.916 set on just his seventh lap out dominated the session, with second ranking Casey Stoner only approaching it by 0.641s and Dovizioso by a margin of 0.674.

In fourth with a lap of 2’03.311 was a fourth Honda, the San Carlo Honda Gresini machine of Marco Simoncelli, with Rizla Suzuki’s Álvaro Bautista two tenths behind the Italian to claim fifth. Sixth place went to Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing), who is recovering after a big high last week in Australia that saw the Texan withdraw from the race. His lap of 2’03.586 was a little over a tenth quicker than the first Ducati in the line up of Randy de Puniet (Pramac Racing).

Colin Edwards was eighth followed by Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini) and Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team). Rossi’s team mate Nicky Hayden ranked 12th behind Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing).

Wildcard John Hopkins (Rizla Suzuki) rode the GSV-R to 14th in the timings, while Yamaha YZR-M1 test rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga, who is stepping in to replace injured Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo, ranked 17th. The Japanese rider saw as high as 11th until the a minor lowside slowed his progression.

Héctor Barberá completed just four full laps before heading to the medical center. The Mapfre Aspar rider is cautiously evaluating his fitness ahead of the race following surgery on the fractured collarbone he suffered in Japan just over two weeks ago.


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