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Pedrosa fastest in FP3

Dani Pedrosa fastest in final free practice for the Spanish MotoGP at Jerez.
In a repeat of Friday afternoon, Dani Pedrosa led Repsol Honda team-mate Casey Stoner in Saturday morning's final practice session at Jerez - but this time the Spanish star enjoyed a 0.307sec advantage.

Pedrosa - unsure of his fitness over a full race distance after numbness in his left arm at Qatar, for which he will undergo surgery next week - was the only rider to break the 1min 39sec barrier this morning.

The former Spanish Grand Prix winner set his best time of 1min 38.864sec on lap 4 of 13, but it may have been a qualifying simulation since his next best time was a 1min 39.345sec.

Stoner waited until lap 14 of 16 to set his 1min 39.171sec, which was one of four laps he set below 1min 39.4sec.

Gresini's Marco Simoncelli completed an all-Honda top three, 0.491sec from the top, with Yamaha's reigning world champion and 2010 Jerez winner Jorge Lorenzo claiming fourth place, but a worrying 0.818sec from Pedrosa.

Randy de Puniet excelled as the top Ducati in fifth position, with factory Desmosedici rider Valentino Rossi sixth and the last rider within one-second of Pedrosa.

Rookie Cal Crutchlow produced an excellent performance with seventh place (+1.2sec) for Monster Yamaha Tech 3, at a track he barely knows, with team-mate Colin Edwards a fraction behind him.

Lorenzo's factory team-mate Ben Spies won't be happy with ninth (+1.338sec) while third Repsol Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso also has plenty of work to do after finishing tenth (1.346sec).

Rossi's team-mate Nicky Hayden likewise managed only eleventh on the second factory Ducati.

Fellow American John Hopkins - riding in his first MotoGP since 2008, as a replacement for injure Suzuki rider Alvaro Bautista - enjoyed a much more promising session, finishing two-seconds from Pedrosa and ahead of Loris Capirossi, Karel Abraham and Toni Elias.

Abraham's chain broke at the end of the session.

All 17 riders set their best laps of the weekend this morning.

Qualifying takes place this afternoon.

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Quicky - Unregistered

April 02, 2011 10:33 AM

Expected Pedrosa to be super quick but I'm sure that dud shoulder will come back to haunt him during the race. Sooner he gets it fixed the better. What's happened to Spies? Disappointing his performance so far on factory Yamaha. I know he got plenty of natural speed but where did it go? Good to see de Puniet and Crutchlow in the mix...upsetting a few factory rides I bet.

HRC - Unregistered

April 02, 2011 12:10 PM

@Bradenws So how do you explane Rossi putting his fastest lap times in near the end of the Qatar race? I'd stop looking for excuses for Rossis' poor performances on the Ducati as the simple fact is he cant ride it like stoner, end of.

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