Dani Pedrosa set the pace in two very different practice sessions as the German Grand Prix weekend began in changeable conditions at the Sachsenring. The morning session avoided the rain but a heavy shower at the end of the second Moto3 session left the circuit drenched for FP2.
Pedrosa traded times with Repsol Honda teammate Casey Stoner in the first session with the Australian displaying ominous consistency, lapping in the mid 1:22s. Stoner lowered the benchmark time to a 1:22.444 before Pedrosa, winner of the last two German Grand Prix, sneaked ahead by a tenth of a second in the final minute.
Despite this being the second shortest lap of the year, the Honda duo had a relatively comfortable cushion over Jorge Lorenzo in third, three tenths down. The two Tech 3 Yamahas were half a second off the pace, with Andrea Dovizioso slightly quicker than Cal Crutchlow, while Hector Barbera pipped Nicky Hayden to finish as top Ducati rider in sixth.
Alvaro Bautista was eighth fastest ahead of a race he knows he will have to start at the back of the grid with home favourite Stefan Bradl in ninth. The LCR Honda rider almost sent the crowd into raptures in the afternoon as he came within 0.076s of finishing on top having led Pedrosa by three tenths at the third checkpoint on his final lap.
Ben Spies was tenth overall ahead of Valentino Rossi with the Ducati start proving once again that the GP12 is a far greater threat to the leaders in wet conditions. The no.46 was fifth in the rain-affected second session, just three tenths off the pace and the Italian will be hoping for more disruptions tomorrow.
Randy de Puniet was the quickest CRT rider ahead of Colin Edwards, no doubt looking to bounce back after a miserable weekend at Assen. James Ellison brought up the rear of the 21 man field although his Paul Bird ART looked more competitive in the wet later on.