Dani Pedrosa began his search for a fifth Brno victory by topping the timesheets in Friday practice in the Czech Republic. The Spaniard, a winner here in 125cc, 250cc and MotoGP, led an unfamiliar top four with Danilo Petrucci, Alvaro Bautista and rookie Hafizh Syahrin all impressing in sweltering temperatures.
The afternoon session was initially dominated by Honda riders with championship leader Marc Marquez leading Pedrosa and Cal Crutchlow before a late dash on new tyres transformed the picture as riders prioritised a qualifying run. Andrea Dovizioso was the first to leap up the order, climbing from twelfth to first with the quickest lap of the entire day so far, but that was only the start.
Pedrosa responded moments later, restoring Honda to the top of the leaderboard, before the retiring 32-year-old became the only man to break into the 1:55s with two minutes remaining. Petrucci and Bautista also improved in the final moments to complete the top three while Syahrin produced arguably the performance of the day to pinch fourth from Dovizioso.
The Movistar Yamahas also ran new tyres in the closing stages to claim sixth and seventh, Maverick Vinales edging out Valentino Rossi, while Tito Rabat pipped FP1 pacesetter Johann Zarco for eighth. Having opted against a qualifying simulation, Marquez and Crutchlow fell to tenth and 14th respectively but both will fully expect to secure a Q2 spot in the morning.
2018 Monster Energy Grand Prix Ceske Republiky: (Free Practice)
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