After his and Honda's first race victory in over a year, Dani Pedrosa continued the momentum with second place in Friday practice for the German Grand Prix - the track where his world championship hopes came to an end last season.
The Repsol Honda rider finished just 0.255s behind the fastest time set by Ducati's Casey Stoner and – like team-mate Andrea Dovizioso - got the chance to try a new RC212V engine, designed to improve the machine's driveabilty and enhance power delivery in the middle of the rev range.
“I have to say that at the beginning in the wet I took it easy after what happened last year, but actually, when I saw the rain before the session I thought, OK, we can pick up from where we left off and change the outcome,” said Dani, who crashed heavily out of the lead one year ago.
“We rode with the new engine today although, because of these mixed conditions, it wasn't really possible to draw definite conclusions - but the feeling was positive. We need more laps to fully evaluate the engine, so we'll continue with that tomorrow,” he added.
Dovizioso was fast in both wet and dry conditions, briefly topping the timesheets after 15 minutes on a wet track before appearing on top again as a dry line emerged.
As the times tumbled in the final few minutes the Italian was able to up his pace further and finished just 0.591s behind Stoner. However, on a day when the top 12 riders were covered by a single second this was good enough only for ninth place.
The Italian also felt an improvement from the new engine, despite the varying track conditions.
“Even though the track conditions were not ideal, we already felt some improvements from the new engine that Honda has brought for us this weekend,” stated Dovi. “The situation wasn't perfect for a comparison test because we started with a wet track and then it started to dry, so we began with the current version of the engine and then we did the last run with the new one.
“The feeling was good both in wet and dry conditions and we did a lot of testing without focusing too hard on setting ultimate lap times, so I'm confident for tomorrow. We'll continue with the set-up and tyre testing work tomorrow, and continue to evaluate the new engine,” he added.