Dani Pedrosa thrashed the opposition in first practice for this weekend's Czech Republic MotoGP at Brno, going almost a second quicker than anyone else on Friday morning. Incredibly, the Spaniard was just under two tenths shy of the fastest ever lap set on the 5.403km circuit with a 1:56.328.
Championship leader Casey Stoner improved on his final lap of the session to go second but his best effort was still 0.966s slower than his teammate. Marco Simoncelli was also on target to improve in the dying seconds but his session ended in all too familiar fashion with a crash at the final corner.
Jorge Lorenzo was next along on the fastest of the Yamahas but his fastest time was one and a quarter seconds slower than the ultimate pace. Andrea Dovizioso found time late in the session to hold on to fifth, with Ben Spies close behind in sixth.
Besides Pedrosa, the star of the session had to be John Hopkins who finished a superb seventh for Rizla Suzuki. The wildcard rider is competing in his third different championship in as many weeks but was immediately on the pace on MotoGP machinery, outpacing teammate Alvaro Bautista who was eighth.
Cal Crutchlow also impressed on a circuit that he knows well. The Briton climbed as high as fifth early in the session but will have every reason to be happy with ninth, narrowly ahead of the second Tech 3 Yamaha of Colin Edwards.
One team that won't be happy will be Ducati, with the FP1 result making grim reading for the Italian manufacturer. Valentino Rossi was the quickest of the Desmosedicis in 11th but an eye-watering 2.491s away from the pacesetting Honda. In fact, six of the slowest eight riders were on board Ducatis with Nicky Hayden all the way down in 14th on the second factory machine.
Cardion ab Grand Prix CeskÃ© republiky: Free Practice 1 Result
|1||Dani Pedrosa||SPA||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||1:56.328|
|2||Casey Stoner||AUS||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||+0.966|
|3||Marco Simoncelli||ITA||Honda||San Carlo Honda Gresini||+1.080|
|4||Jorge Lorenzo||SPA||Yamaha||Yamaha Factory Racing||+1.259|
|5||Andrea Dovizioso||ITA||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||+1.448|
|6||Ben Spies||USA||Yamaha||Yamaha Factory Racing||+1.575|
|7||John Hopkins (WC)||USA||Suzuki||Rizla Suzuki MotoGP||+1.993|
|8||Alvaro Bautista||SPA||Suzuki||Rizla Suzuki MotoGP||+2.017|
|9||Cal Crutchlow||GBR||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||+2.062|
|10||Colin Edwards||USA||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||+2.169|
|11||Valentino Rossi||ITA||Ducati||Ducati Team||+2.491|
|12||Randy de Puniet||FRA||Ducati||Pramac Racing Team||+2.599|
|13||Hector Barbera||SPA||Ducati||Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP||+2.645|
|14||Nicky Hayden||USA||Ducati||Ducati Team||+2.647|
|15||Hiroshi Aoyama||JAP||Honda||San Carlo Honda Gresini||+2.961|
|16||Karel Abraham||CZE||Ducati||Cardion AB Motoracing||+3.006|
|17||Loris Capirossi||ITA||Ducati||Pramac Racing Team||+3.378|
|18||Toni Elias||SPA||Honda||LCR Honda MotoGP||+3.873|