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|
|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|