Dani Pedrosa’s blistering run of form continued as the Spaniard set the fastest time in Friday Practice ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix. Pedrosa was only a tenth of a second quicker than teammate Casey Stoner though with the world champion returning to something like his best after returning from his ankle injury at Motegi.
The Australian’s return to form will have concerned Jorge Lorenzo who could only manage third as the championship leader is potentially facing the possibility of a rider finishing between himself and Pedrosa. Lorenzo was backed up by the two Tech 3 Yamahas with Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow fourth and fifth.
The second session was a total washout for the frontrunners after a heavy downpour which started late in the preceding Moto3 session. With only the first sector covered in water, conditions weren’t suitable to either the wet tyres or the slicks, resulting in a quiet 45 minutes.
As a result, Pedrosa topped the combined practice times by virtue of his morning effort and the Repsol Honda rider expects the times to tumble yet before qualifying.
“We’ve been lucky to have the first practice in the dry to begin setting up the bike for the race because as we’ve seen in the last few days sooner or later it rains here. The track was a little dirty in the morning and the grip level quite poor, but the lap times were not so bad and the conditions will improve throughout the weekend. In the morning I had a lot of vibration in the rear which we think was a problem with the wheel balance. I did a sighting lap in the afternoon and it was full wet until turn 4 but from there, full dry, so we decided to stay in the pits. We will have to make good use of track time tomorrow morning to prepare the bike for qualifying and the race”.
Despite trailing the two factory Hondas, Jorge Lorenzo was pleased with his performance on Friday but appreciates he has an extra challenger this weekend.
“This morning was great, from the beginning I was competitive and more or less at the same pace as Dani and Casey. Casey especially is much stronger than he was in Japan. This afternoon unfortunately we couldn’t practice because of the weather. We need to improve the behaviour of the bike in acceleration for tomorrow, it’s a little nervous so we need to make it a little easier.”
|Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix: Combined Friday Practice Classification|
|1||Dani Pedrosa||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||2:01.621||No Time|
|2||Casey Stoner||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||2:01.773||No Time|
|3||Jorge Lorenzo||Yamaha||Yamaha Factory Racing||2:01.934||No Time|
|4||Andrea Dovizioso||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||2:02.236||No Time|
|5||Cal Crutchlow||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||2:02.266||No Time|
|6||Ben Spies||Yamaha||Yamaha Factory Racing||2:02.358||No Time|
|7||Stefan Bradl||Honda||LCR Honda||2:02.617||2:19.085|
|8||Nicky Hayden||Ducati||Ducati Team||2:02.754||2:17.804|
|9||Alvaro Bautista||Honda||San Carlo Honda Gresini||2:02.872||2:17.136|
|10||Hector Barbera||Ducati||Pramac Racing Team||2:03.221||2:21.113|
|11||Valentino Rossi||Ducati||Ducati Team||2:03.274||2:17.173|
|12||Karel Abraham||Ducati||Cardion AB Motoracing||2:04.624||2:16.143|
|13||Randy de Puniet||ART||Power Electronics Aspar||2:05.029||2:12.046|
|14||Aleix Espargaro||ART||Power Electronics Aspar||2:05.077||2:17.429|
|15||Colin Edwards||Suter||NGM Forward Racing||2:05.387||2:26.857|
|16||Michele Pirro||FTR||San Carlo Honda Gresini||2:06.058||2:12.043|
|17||James Ellison||ART||Paul Bird Motorsports||2:06.452||2:18.478|
|18||Roberto Rolfo||ART||Speed Master||2:06.470||2:13.216|
|19||Yonny Hernandez||BQR||Avintia Blusens||2:07.257||No Time|
|20||Ivan Silva||BQR||Avintia Blusens||2:07.291||2:10.602|
|21||Danilo Petrucci||Ioda-Suter||Came Ioda Racing Project||2:07.818||No Time|