Championship rivals Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo locked out the top two positions in both Friday Practice sessions at Brno despite difficult days for both. With Casey Stoner out of action through injury, the two Spaniards are expected to dispute victory this weekend and today’s running did nothing to alter that prediction.
Pedrosa ended up topping both sessions but he limped away from his Repsol Honda RC213V in FP1 when Valentino Rossi’s Ducati ran wide in front of him, spitting gravel in his direction. Although the pain didn’t totally disappear, Dani was fit enough to improve his time in FP2, beating Lorenzo by 0.053s.
“I was pretty lucky with the incident this morning as it could have been a lot worse”, said Pedrosa. “There were two massive rocks that flew up, one hit my left foot hard and the other one hit my screen and chin. At the beginning I thought I had broken something in my foot but fortunately it’s ok, just a lot of swelling, anyway the pain is going down from this morning so that’s a good thing. Today we spent time working on the tyres and set up of the bike. We were trying to get the maximum time on the track as tomorrow we don’t know how the weather will be so it was important to have a lot of time in the dry. The feelings were improving but we still have some work to do especially with electronics and suspension”.
Lorenzo had set the pace early in second practice but put himself on the back foot with a crash at turn seven. While the points leader was heading back for his second motorcycle, he lost the lead to Pedrosa but wasn’t concerned by that afterwards having shown the potential of his YZR-M1.
“Today was much better than Indianapolis, we tried to improve the bike but we still need to find some solutions for more grip in the corners. I had a small crash in a slow corner, I tried to lean a little more and found the limit of the grip. I’m quite satisfied overall, we are there with Dani fighting for the best lap time every practice which is good.”
The two Tech 3 Yamahas were third and fourth and will both have their eyes on a podium finish this weekend given the absence of Stoner. Andrea Dovizioso was the quicker of the two today, two tenths ahead of Cal Crutchlow, while Stefan Bradl and Valentino Rossi were also within range in fifth and sixth.
Ben Spies was slightly off the pace in seventh after sending the second factory Yamaha into the gravel trap, preventing him from improving on FP1. Alvaro Bautista was next up in eighth while the two Aspar CRT riders took advantage of the depleted field to round out the top ten.