Dani Pedrosa - Photo Credit: MotoGP.com

Dani Pedrosa - Photo Credit: MotoGP.com

Dani Pedrosa
gave his rivals plenty to think about after setting a blistering pace in first practice for this weekend's Grand Prix of Aragon.

The Repsol Hondas looked set to dominate the session with Casey Stoner leading a 1-2-3 for the team early on before Jorge Lorenzo came to life. After his stunning victory at Misano, the world champion is full of confidence and moved ahead of the Honda trio four minutes from time.

The Yamaha number one couldn't improve on his 1:50.730 but Pedrosa certainly could, first clocking a 1:50.458 before throwing down the gauntlet on his final lap, going another two tenths quicker. Lorenzo ended up almost half a second adrift in second but will at least be comforted by the fact that he beat his title rival.

Stoner's fastest lap came with over half an hour still to go so you feel there is more to come from him. The two other factory Hondas followed close behind with Marco Simoncelli and Andrea Dovizioso fourth and fifth respectively.

There was plenty of focus on the Ducati team during first practice as their aggressive development strategy continued. Nicky Hayden will continue on-board the 2012 hybrid he has been running since Indianapolis while Valentino Rossi will be riding an updated GP11.1 with a new aluminium frame.

With that in mind, it was surprising to find out that neither of them were the fastest of the Desmosedicis at the end of the session. That honour instead went to Randy de Puniet who was just a second off the pace on his Pramac GP11, while Hayden and Rossi followed in seventh and eighth.

Colin Edwards was the top Tech 3 rider in ninth, five places ahead of Cal Crutchlow while Hiroshi Aoyama completed the top ten on the satellite Honda. Ben Spies was the surprise of the session, finishing down in 11th on the second works Yamaha.


Gran Premio de Aragón: Free Practice 1 Result

Pos Rider Nat Bike Team Time/Gap
1 Dani Pedrosa SPA Honda Repsol Honda Team 1:50.281
2 Jorge Lorenzo SPA Yamaha Yamaha Factory Racing +0.449
3 Casey Stoner AUS Honda Repsol Honda Team +0.525
4 Marco Simoncelli ITA Honda San Carlo Honda Gresini +0.612
5 Andrea Dovizioso ITA Honda Repsol Honda Team +0.810
6 Randy de Puniet FRA Ducati Pramac Racing Team +1.095
7 Nicky Hayden USA Ducati Ducati Team +1.137
8 Valentino Rossi ITA Ducati Ducati Team +1.395
9 Colin Edwards USA Yamaha Monster Yamaha Tech 3 +1.545
10 Hiroshi Aoyama JAP Honda San Carlo Honda Gresini +1.578
11 Ben Spies USA Yamaha Yamaha Factory Racing +1.630
12 Hector Barbera SPA Ducati Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP +1.735
13 Alvaro Bautista SPA Suzuki Rizla Suzuki MotoGP +1.943
14 Cal Crutchlow GBR Yamaha Monster Yamaha Tech 3 +2.299
15 Karel Abraham CZE Ducati Cardion AB Motoracing +2.877
16 Toni Elias SPA Honda LCR Honda MotoGP +3.159
17 Loris Capirossi ITA Ducati Pramac Racing Team +3.561