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Pedrosa sets the tone in Sepang first free practice

It was Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa who set the tone for the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix in Sepang this weekend by setting the fastest lap in the first free practice ahead of Casey Stoner and Jorge Lorenzo.

Riders were met with the typically hot and humid conditions at the track, with grip levels characteristically low in the first practice, prompting most riders to head out on the softer option tyres. And it was Pedrosa who has carried his good form over into this weekend by setting the fastest time of 2.01’621, with his teammate Stoner looking to have improved physically from Motegi and just over a tenth off the pace. The Australian’s body language was already largely improved from over a week ago, as he contests his second round after coming back from a serious ankle injury.

Yamaha Factory Racing’s Lorenzo will be hoping the Repsol Hondas form is not a sign of things to come as the Spaniard was over three tenths off the top. There was however a significant gap, a further three tenths, back to fourth placed Andrea Dovizioso on his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 satellite machine. He only marginally beat his teammate Cal Crutchlow in fifth, ahead of Yamaha’s Ben Spies, who will no doubt look to get the better of the Tech 3 duo this weekend.

LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl made a solid start to the weekend in seventh, just under a second off the top, with Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden in tow. San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista will be disappointed with his first outing as he chases his third podium of the season, finishing marginally ahead of Pramac Racing Team’s Héctor Barberá in tenth and Ducati’s Valentino Rossi in 11th. Top CRT spot went to Power Electronics Aspar’s Randy de Puniet in 13th. It was a largely incident free session with only Bradl and Rossi briefly running into the gravel.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2012, FP1

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