Dani Pedrosa put the new Honda RC213V at the top of the timesheets during its first grand prix track session at Laguna Seca on Friday morning.

After two runs with his 'standard' bike, Pedrosa swapped to the new version to set the fastest time, less than one tenth off the circuit record.

But the Repsol Honda rider is yet to decide if he will race with the early 2013 prototype - which he previously rode at the post-race Mugello test - and will continue back-to-back comparisons against the 2012 version this afternoon.

"We had a pretty good start of the weekend. The times has been fast from the beginning and we got into the pace quickly," said Pedrosa who finished the session with a slim 0.074s advantage over Yamaha's title leader Jorge Lorenzo.

"I did my first two runs with my current bike and the last one with the new one and the feelings are quite similar to Mugello, which is positive.

"I'll test both bikes again this afternoon to have more data to judge with higher temperatures and hard tyres and we'll see how it goes.

"This is a demanding track physically, it's small but technical and the bike moves a lot. I think that with the new engine the bike is more stable, smoother due to the engine brake.

"I did my best lap with the new bike, even though we didn't work on the set up yet, so let's see if we can improve it a little more and decide on the best option for the race on Sunday."

Pedrosa is seeking to close a 19-point gap to Lorenzo in the final event before the MotoGP summer break - and the Spaniards dominated the top spot for most of FP1.

Pedrosa's team-mate Casey Stoner - who also has the new engine, but has asked to keep the current chassis - was third quickest this morning (+0.405s).

The Australian also set his best time with the latest equipment.

"Track conditions seem quite good for the first session as it usually takes some time to lay some rubber down before the track feels good," began Stoner, now trailing Lorenzo by 37-points after incidents in the last two races.

"The rear tyre seemed to drop away quite quickly, after the first few exits we didn't have much grip so we need to work on that.

"We had a few issues on stability, we need to get the bike turning a little better, try and reduce some of the front chatter and get more stability out of the bike in general because we're getting a lot of movement on the entry and exit of the corners.

"So a few things to work on but in general we're ok, it's only FP1".

Pedrosa, Lorenzo and Stoner are all former US GP winners.


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