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It was Dani Pedrosa who set the tone for the Malaysian 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's Lorenzo will be hoping the Repsol Honda's 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 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’s Stefan Bradl made a solid start to the weekend in seventh, just under a second off the top, with Ducati’s Nicky Hayden in tow. 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 Aspar’s Randy de Puniet in 13th.
It was a largely incident free session with only Bradl and Rossi briefly running into the gravel.
Repsol Honda Team
|1.||D. Pedrosa||Repsol Honda||02:01.621||16|
|2.||C. Stoner||Repsol Honda||02:01.773||15|
|4.||A. Dovizioso||Tech 3||02:02.236||16|
|5.||C. Crutchlow||Tech 3||02:02.266||16|
|7.||S. Bradl||LCR Honda||02:02.617||17|
|Repsol Honda Team|
|13 Jun||Pedrosa to hit 200 in Barcelona|
|13 Jun||Márquez can't wait to get back on bike after Mugello misery|
|19 May||Pedrosa takes second win of the season|
|18 May||Marquez takes second career pole at Le Mans|
|2012 Malaysian MotoGP Grand Prix|
|19 Oct '12||Latest MotoGP photos: Friday at Sepang|
|19 Oct '12||Heavy rain ruins second Sepang practice|
|19 Oct '12||Pedrosa fastest in Sepang first practice|
|18 Oct '12||Tributes paid to Simoncelli in Malaysia|
|17 May||Pedrosa stays fastest in second practice|
|17 May||Pedrosa tops first practice at Le Mans|
|5 May||Pedrosa sweeps to victory in Jerez|
|20 Apr||Pedrosa beats Márquez in third practice|
|18 Jun||De Puniet buoyed by Suzuki test showing|
|18 Jun||Lorenzo fastest on Barcelona test day|
|17 Jun||Suzuki to make MotoGP return in 2015|
|17 Jun||I didn't expect to win, admits Lorenzo|
|More Dani Pedrosa photos|