Final free practice in Japan sees Pedrosa on top

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa was once again the man to beat as he topped the timesheet in the final free practice for the AirAsia Grand Prix of Japan in Motegi ahead of Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies.

With times dropping even further from yesterday, Pedrosa was the only rider to go below the 1.46 mark with a 1.45’792, throwing down the gauntlet ahead of qualifying. Almost all riders were looking to test the hard-front and soft-rear tyre combination, which is what Pedrosa used to set his time half way through his 20 lap stint. Yamaha Factory Racing’s Lorenzo set his fast lap, over two tenths off Pedrosa, on his fourth lap, and continued to put in similar times for the remainder of the session.

His teammate Ben Spies found some extra pace with the softer rear tyre, managing to beat Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso, who was one of the pace-setters yesterday. It was however San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista who showed the biggest improvement over yesterday as he put his satellite machine in fifth place, narrowly ousting Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow into sixth.

Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner continued his gradual return to form after injury, completing more laps than in the individual sessions yesterday. He improved his time to finish seventh, though looked in discomfort at the end of his run. Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi, who yesterday stated he would be working on tyre life this morning came in eighth, after saving a big wobble in the latter stages. LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl, who continued work on his brake set-up, stayed solely on used tyres and finished ninth, with Ducati’s Nicky Hayden rounding out the top ten.

Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaró was the top CRT in 11th, despite running into the gravel twice, with his teammate Randy de Puniet following suit once. San Carlo’s Michele Pirro suffered a technical issue early on in the session and finished the session in 18th.

TAGS Japan

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