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Pedrosa and Marquez take early initiative

Pedrosa and Marquez take early initiative

Dani Pedrosa and his teammate Marc Marquez both started strongly at the Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix on Friday, finishing in the top two positions in both free practices.

The winner of last year’s race at Sepang, Pedrosa, came out keen to maintain the level shown 12 months ago - on day one of practice.

The Spaniard dominated proceedings, claiming the fastest times in both the morning and afternoon sessions. Second to him on both occasions was his Repsol Honda teammate Marquez.

In the morning, Pedrosa had already made clear his command of the Malaysian track and, after completing 17 laps, stopped the clock at a best time of 2’01.229. On his return to Sepang for the first time since pre-season testing, Marquez was just 0.367s off his teammate.

The gap extended to half a second in the second session, in which Pedrosa raised the bar to record a quickest lap of 2’00.554 and become the only rider to breach the 2’01 mark.

"Today went well, we had two good practice sessions and were able to ride in dry conditions in both the morning and afternoon," said Pedrosa who has recovered sufficiently from a badly bruised hip after his Aragon race crash caused inadvertently by Marquez, but is still riding in pain.

Pedrosa continued, "In the second session it looked like the track was going to be wet after a brief rain shower in-between FP1 and FP2, but it dried out quickly and we were able to continue working on our setups. When sitting on the bike I have quite a lot of pain, as the seat is very hard, so we shall see if a few more anti-inflammatories can help to alleviate the issue. We might also add a small cushion underneath my leathers, in order to absorb the bumps that we get when riding."

For his part, Marquez commented, "We came here before in pre-season, when I had barely ridden a MotoGP bike so it was interesting to compare things again so many laps and miles later. I felt comfortable and this is important when trying to be more consistent every lap."

"On the single lap we are half a second off Dani who was very fast, as he always is at Sepang, but our pace in general isn't too far off. We have to push hard because if he can do it, that means that the Honda is capable of those times. I was hoping to be more consistent but I had some problems with braking, which we were able to solve in the opening practice session. We still need to improve a few things, but I have realised that we are already fast, straight out of the box."

MotoGP, 2013, SHELL ADVANCE MALAYSIAN MOTORCYCLE GP, Dani Pedrosa, Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

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