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Rossi leads Motegi practice, Pedrosa hurt

Valentino Rossi fastest during Friday practice for the Japanese MotoGP at Motegi, Dani Pedrosa breaks collarbone.
Outgoing MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi returning to the top of the timesheets during first practice for the Japanese Grand Prix, but the biggest news on Friday at Motegi was an injury for title contender Dani Pedrosa.

The Repsol Honda rider was kicked off his RC212V under braking for turn three, on only his third lap of the session, leaving the Spaniard with a left collarbone broken in three places.

Pedrosa is the only rider that can still deprive Jorge Lorenzo of the 2010 title - and he is already 56 points behind with 125 remaining.

As such, the injury, which looks set to rule Pedrosa out of at least the next three races (in three weeks) means Lorenzo is likely to have wrapped up his first premier-class crown by the time MotoGP returns to Europe for the penultimate Estoril round at the latest.

Pedrosa's team-mate Andrea Dovizioso looked set to provide a glimmer of light on HRC's darkest day of the season, as he led the timesheets as the chequered flag waved, but even that didn't last as Rossi snatched the top spot by 0.213sec on his final lap.

Rossi had doubted his chances heading into the weekend, stating that the stop-go circuit would be hard on his injured shoulder, but he was competitive throughout Friday's hour-long session.

Lorenzo, riding with a special helmet design, was 0.3sec behind Rossi in third place, with Aragon winner Casey Stoner fourth for Ducati (+0.307sec).

Ben Spies, who will replace the departing Rossi at Fiat Yamaha next season, was the top rookie and satellite rider in sixth place despite a slow fall from his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 bike. The Texan was 0.821sec slower than Stoner.

Home star Hiroshi Aoyama was just one place behind Spies on his Motegi MotoGP debut after enjoying his best session in the premier-class, with Colin Edwards seventh on the second satellite M1.

Related Pictures

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Rossi, Aragon MotoGP 2010
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Oli - Unregistered

October 01, 2010 8:12 AM

What a shame for Jorge to win the title off the track. He has been class since he came to MotoGP, getting better every year and he would have been very very hard to beat this year but injuries first to Rossi, now to Pedrose, and Stoner's strange form this season mean we have really been deprived of someone to challenge him. A shame for all the riders, including Jorge, and a shame for the fans - I guess that's racing. GWS Dani and congrats Jorge, 2010 MotoGP world champion.

Stacy - Unregistered

October 01, 2010 9:13 AM

What is it with people! I'm a huge Vale fan, and have been for 10 years or so now. That doesn't mean that Jorge is not the champ this year. And a deserving one as well. Just because others got injured does not take his championship away from him. He rode brilliantly for the first 3/4 of the season. He is now riding looking to retain his lead (sensibly). Hopefully not he has it pretty much in the bag he can get back to going for it again. Sames goes for Hayden and Stoner (and I really don't like Stoner). They won. End of. Give the man the credit he deserves, it's one more world championship than I or anyone else here is going to get!

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