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 AragÃ³n: Free Practice 1 Result
|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|