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Lorenzo fastest in Motegi first free practice

Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo was quickest out of the blocks at the AirAsia Grand Prix of Japan in Motegi by topping the morning session ahead of Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso, with Casey Stoner impressing on his return.

Riders will have been pleased having a sunny and dry first practice session for the first time in many weeks, and it was Lorenzo who was on the pace from the off, ending the morning top with a 1.46’558. Repsol Honda Team’s Pedrosa, who needs to beat Lorenzo to push for the title, was less than two tenths behind, which looks to promise a good battle once more. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso seemed to be enjoying the Japanese track, putting his satellite machine in third.

Repsol Honda’s Stoner made his long-awaited return from injury in a less than ideal fashion as his number one bike stopped with a technical issue after two bends on his out-lap. He was however able to head back out on his second bike, and looked almost instantly back on the pace as he put his Honda in fourth place ahead of Lorenzo’s teammate Ben Spies. Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow was only marginally behind Stoner, yet will be aiming to match the pace of his Italian teammate.

Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden, riding with a fracture in his right radius, managed eighth place doing mainly short runs, finishing ahead of LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl. San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista and Ducati’s Valentino Rossi completed the top ten. Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaró was top CRT in 14th, despite taking a tumble early in the session.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2012, FP1

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