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Pedrosa quickest as Q2 running order decided

Pedrosa quickest as Q2 running order decided

Dani Pedrosa has topped all three of the practice sessions to have been staged so far ahead of the Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle GP, leading the way again on Saturday morning. After light rain fell at the Sepang International Circuit, championship leader Marc Marquez finished seventh while as per usual ten riders were submitted directly to Q2 Qualifying.

With just a quartet of Grands Prix remaining in the 2013 MotoGP™ season, including this weekend’s race which is the first of a triple-header, tension is mounting in the title race. Pedrosa – whose title chances received a huge blow last time out in Aragón – has arrived in Malaysia with confidence, having won the race for the first time last year.

On Saturday morning, Pedrosa and Repsol Honda Team partner Marquez were the only two riders in the top ten who failed to improve on their best Friday lap times, but his effort of 2’00.554 was still enough to lead the way from Yamaha Factory Racing duo Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi. Stefan Bradl went fourth quickest for LCR Honda MotoGP, ahead of Marquez who ended up fifth on the combined practice timesheets but this morning appeared to be taking things easier than most following light drops of rain.

Regardless of the light shower and blustery winds, Lorenzo - who claimed his maiden premier class title at Sepang in 2010 - notably stayed out in order to rack up as much mileage as possible, while Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech3) and Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini) occupied spots six and seven ahead of Ducati Team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden.

Crutchlow’s teammate Bradley Smith was the tenth and final rider to be submitted directly to Q2, to the disgruntlement of lead CRT runner Aleix Espargaro (Power Electronics Aspar) who during the final five minutes had been involved in an on-track disagreement with Spanish compatriot Hector Barbera (Avintia Blusens); both will gain a final chance of making the Q2 shootout, as they could finish amongst the top two in Q1.

Following fourth practice which has no bearing on the qualifying running order, Q1 for Round 15 of the World Championship will begin at 2:10pm local time (GMT +8).


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