Pedrosa In Charge On Day One At Le Mans


Dani Pedrosa led a Repsol Honda 1-2 in Friday Practice ahead of the French Grand Prix at Le Mans as the Spaniard picked up where he left off in Jerez. After dominating his home race, Pedrosa proceeded to top both free practice sessions today with championship leader Marc Marquez a tenth of a second behind.

Despite Dani’s supremacy, the field behind him was very closely packed with just over half a second covering the top eight. Marquez was just four thousandths of a second clear of Valentino Rossi on the leading Yamaha while Jorge Lorenzo was fractionally slower in fourth, suggesting a thrilling fight for pole is in store tomorrow.

Pedrosa fears his chances on Saturday may be affected by the weather although he believes he has a strong package for Sunday’s race.

“In today’s practice sessions it was important to test the tyres and make the most of the dry track time, because here you usually don’t have that opportunity. So I tried to stay out on track for as long as possible and gather the best information, because maybe tomorrow it will rain – and you don’t have that chance again. Luckily the weather held up and we were able to make some positive steps, which we hope to capitalise on for the race on Sunday”.

Behind the top four, Stefan Bradl was the best of the rest in fifth with Cal Crutchlow admitting to struggling on his way to sixth. Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden were next up for Ducati after showing well in the morning session while Alvaro Bautista and Aleix Espargaro completed the top ten. Bradley Smith made a solid start to finish eleventh but with only ten guaranteed a place in Q2 on Saturday, the Briton will be praying the rain stays away to allow him to move up in final practice.

 

 2013 Monster Energy Grand Prix de France – Combined Free Practice Classification
Pos Rider Bike Team Best Time
1  Dani Pedrosa Honda Repsol Honda Team 1:34.035
2  Marc Marquez Honda Repsol Honda Team 1:34.169
3  Valentino Rossi Yamaha Yamaha Factory Racing 1:34.173
4  Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha Yamaha Factory Racing 1:34.201
5  Stefan Bradl Honda LCR Honda MotoGP 1:34.299
6  Cal Crutchlow Yamaha Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1:34.512
7  Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Ducati Team 1:34.578
8  Nicky Hayden Ducati Ducati Team 1:34.590
9  Alvaro Bautista Honda GO&FUN Honda Gresini 1:34.739
10  Aleix Espargaro ART Power Electronics Aspar 1:35.045
11  Bradley Smith Yamaha Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1:35.362
12  Andrea Iannone Ducati Energy T.I. Pramac Racing 1:35.433
13  Randy de Puniet ART Power Electronics Aspar 1:35.447
14  Michele Pirro Ducati Ignite Pramac Racing 1:35.864
15  Hector Barbera FTR Avintia Blusens 1:35.940
16  Colin Edwards FTR Kawasaki NGM Mobile Forward Racing 1:36.449
17  Claudio Corti FTR Kawasaki NGM Mobile Forward Racing 1:36.643
18  Karel Abraham ART Cardion AB Motoracing 1:36.759
19  Danilo Petrucci Ioda Suter Came IodaRacing Project 1:36.764
20  Hiroshi Aoyama FTR Avintia Blusens 1:36.821
21  Yonny Hernandez ART Paul Bird Motorsport 1:37.104
22  Bryan Staring FTR Honda GO&FUN Honda Gresini 1:37.878
23  Michael Laverty PBM Paul Bird Motorsport 1:38.023
24  Lukas Pesek FTR Came Ioda Racing Project 1:38.818