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Pedrosa leads Saturday practice

Dani Pedrosa fastest during Saturday free practice for the Catalunya MotoGP round at Barcelona.
Third practice for the Catalunya MotoGP round saw a third different rider on top of the timesheets in the form of local star Dani Pedrosa.

As on Friday afternoon, the session saw a distinct contrast in tyre tactics.

Andrea Dovizioso set the first sub-1m 42s lap of the weekend with a soft tyre early in the 45-minute session, keeping the Yamaha Tech 3 star on top until the final ten minutes.

At that point, reigning double world champion Casey Stoner moved from fifth to first - on the hard tyre - and set another 1m 41s lap shortly after.

Repsol Honda team-mate Pedrosa, who like Stoner had stuck with the hard tyre on Friday afternoon, then hit the front with the softer tyre in the final minutes. The Spaniard subsequently improved his time to finish the session 0.320s ahead of Stoner.

The big question that remains is if the softer option can be made to last a race distance.

While Pedrosa seems undecided on which to race, and Stoner's focus has been firmly on the harder tyre, third place Dovizioso remained on the softer tyre for much of the session - indicating that he intends to use it in the grand prix.

The soft also appears to be a realistic race option for fellow Yamaha riders Jorge Lorenzo, Cal Crutchlow and Ben Spies - although the trio were only sixth, eighth and eleventh this morning.

Championship leader Lorenzo had been fastest on Friday afternoon, with title rival Stoner quickest in FP1.

Between Dovizioso and Lorenzo were Ducati riders Hector Barbera (Pramac) and Nicky Hayden (Factory), with LCR Honda rookie Stefan Bradl squeezing between Lorenzo and Tech 3's Cal Crutchlow, who is running a brake upgrade this weekend.

Hayden's team-mate Valentino Rossi - just twelfth fastest on Friday, albeit having stuck with the harder tyre in the afternoon (along with Stoner and Pedrosa) - clocked the ninth fastest lap time (+1.477s).

The Italian had used the new aluminium swing-arm in addition to revised electronics on day one, but reverted back to the carbon fibre design for this morning's session. Hayden is also running the electronics, but didn't try the aluminium swing-arm after suffering chatter at the Mugello test.




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Napalm - Unregistered

June 02, 2012 10:43 AM

Stoner's back to back sub 1m 42's on hard tyres put a smile on my face. I have him backed for both the QP and the win! That ultra slow motion is amazing.



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