Fresh from his third victory of the season last weekend at Indianapolis, Dani Pedrosa returned to the head of the MotoGP timesheets by a dominant 0.6sec during Friday practice at Misano.

Pedrosa knocked title leader Jorge Lorenzo from the top for the final time just after the midway mark of the hour, then improved his best time to sit 0.672sec clear of the Fiat Yamaha rider by the closing minutes.

Lorenzo, who leads Pedrosa by 68 points in the championship, was unable to improve on his final laps and was bumped down a position by Dani's Repsol, Honda team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, who edged 0.060sec under Lorenzo's best on his very last lap.

Only one other rider got within one-second of Pedrosa today and that was local hero Valentino Rossi, winner at Misano for the last two seasons. Rossi was 0.767sec behind Pedrosa, but less than a tenth from an unhappy looking Lorenzo.

The top eight places in practice saw riders in team formation, with the two Repsol Hondas, followed the Fiat Yamahas, then the Monster Yamaha Tech 3s of Colin Edwards and Ben Spies and the Ducati Marlboros of Nicky Hayden and Casey Stoner.

Fifth for Edwards was a welcome boost after the disappointment of Indy, at which Spies had started on pole and finished second to Pedrosa. Hayden, who hasn't completed a racing lap at Misano since the circuit re-joined the grand prix calendar in 2007, was 1.2sec from Pedrosa with Stoner 0.7sec behind.

Marco Melandri, who could conclude a deal to join BMW in WSBK next season this weekend, was the leading satellite Honda rider in ninth for San Carlo Honda Gresini, while another Italian - Loris Capirossi - rounded out the top ten for Rizla Suzuki.

The weather was fine and sunny on Friday but is predicted to deteriorate as the weekend goes on.

Friday practice:

1. Pedrosa
2. Dovizioso
3. Lorenzo
4. Rossi
5. Edwards
6. Spies
7. Hayden
8. Stoner
9. Melandri
10. Capirossi
11. Barbera
12. de Puniet
13. Simoncelli
14. Espargaro
15. Aoyama
16. Kallio
17. Bautista


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