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Pedrosa pulls clear in Sepang practice

21 October 2011

Dani Pedrosa set the pace in both of Friday's free practice sessions for the penultimate round of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship at Sepang in Malaysia.

0.641sec clear of newly crowned double world champion and Repsol Honda team-mate Casey Stoner in the morning, Pedrosa increased his advantage to 0.820sec over the Australian in the afternoon.

Stoner was the only rider within one-second of Pedrosa, as Andrea Dovizioso completed an all-Repsol top three - but was 1.414sec from the top.

Then came Gresini Honda team-mates Marco Simoncelli and Hiroshi Aoyama, with Colin Edwards the top non-RC212V rider in sixth for Monster Yamaha Tech 3. Edwards lapped 1.741sec slower than Pedrosa.

Alvaro Bautista claimed seventh for Rizla Suzuki, with Pramac's Randy de Puniet the leading Ducati in eighth (+1.909sec).

Ben Spies, who missed last Sunday's Australian MotoGP due to a qualifying crash, rode to a sore ninth for the Factory Yamaha team, with rookie Karel Abraham completing the top ten for Cardion AB Ducati (+2.068sec).

Nicky Hayden was the top factory Ducati rider in eleventh, followed by Pramac's Loris Capirossi and fellow Italian Valentino Rossi.

Rossi, winless since his final victory for Yamaha at Sepang last season, was 2.427sec slower than Pedrosa. During testing at Sepang in February, Rossi's best performance over the six days saw the nine time world champion 1.012sec from the fastest rider.

John Hopkins, making his third MotoGP appearance of the season for Rizla Suzuki - but aiming for his second race start after a hand injury at Brno - was 14th fastest and 0.762sec behind Bautista.

Edwards' team-mate Cal Crutchlow claimed 15th with LCR Hodna's Toni Elias 16th and Hector Barbera, returning from a broken collarbone at Motegi, 17th.

Katsuyuki Nakasuga, called up by Yamaha to replace injured 2010 world champion Jorge Lorenzo, crashed twice on Friday. The Japanese Superbike Championship rider finished this afternoon 18th and last, 4.746sec from Pedrosa.

Nakasuga and Dovizioso were the only riders to lap slower in FP2.

Friday practice (2):

1. Pedrosa
2. Stoner
3. Dovizioso
4. Simoncelli
5. Aoyama
6. Edwards
7. Bautista
8. de Puniet
9. Spies
10. Abraham
11. Hayden
12. Capirossi
13. Rossi
14. Hopkins
15. Crutchlow
16. Elias
17. Barbera
18. Nakasuga


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