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Edwards closes Friday on top in Sepang

Edwards closes Friday on top in Sepang

Texan Colin Edwards was quickest on the draw on Friday in Malaysia.

Tech 3 Yamaha´s Colin Edwards laid down his cards early in Sepang, recording the fastest Friday time in practice for the Polini Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix. The American had to wait until the dying moments of the day´s two hours of practice in order to set his 2´02.667 lap, doing so in a second session that had been slightly slower than the morning run until the final quarter.

Edwards´ lap relegated Yamaha factory rider Valentino Rossi to second place on the combined timesheet, although the Italian was unable to cut his time in the afternoon. Nonetheless, the 2008 World Champion was under three-hundredths of a second slower than his former teammate´s marker overall, and placed second in the ultimate session.

Third fastest and the only other rider to breach the 2´03 barrier, 2007 Sepang racewinner Casey Stoner was three-tenths down on Edwards´ fastest lap, once again riding with a speed that belied his less-than-perfect condition.

Shinya Nakano was the first man to better his morning time, and was sitting pretty in the Free Practice 2 standings until his rivals´ late surge. The San Carlo Honda Gresini rider –still without a ride confirmed for 2009- eventually placed fourth.

Like Fiat Yamaha teammate Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo was unable to best his early lap time, and concluded the day just over half a second slower than satellite rider Edwards. Dani Pedrosa made significant improvements to move up into sixth onboard his Repsol Honda RC212V, whilst Loris Capirossi, Pedrosa´s future teammate Andrea Dovizioso, LCR Honda man Randy de Puniet and 2006 MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden also placed in the top ten.


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