Dani Pedrosa will go into this afternoon's qualifying session at the Czech Republic Grand Prix having been fastest in all three free practice sessions.

The Repsol Honda rider, a reduced 18 points behind Jorge Lorenzo in the championship after victory last Sunday at Indianapolis, dipped under the official race lap record midway through final practice.

The Spaniard, whose team-mate and reigning champion Casey Stoner has dropped out of the title battle due to injury, then cut a further chunk of time on his very final lap to finish the session just 0.1s outside of the Brno pole record.

Pedrosa was running a hard front, soft rear tyre combination to set his quickest lap, as were factory Yamaha riders Ben Spies and Jorge Lorenzo, who slotted into second and third on their final laps.

Lorenzo had been just seventh fastest prior to his last lap, which briefly moved him into second, before being pushed to third by Spies. But Spies was 0.743s slower than Pedrosa, with Lorenzo 0.806s behind.

Then came the satellite Tech 3 Yamaha riders Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow, who were the final riders within one-second of Pedrosa. Crutchlow is now confirmed with Tech 3 for 2013.

Lone factory Ducati rider Valentino Rossi was 1.049s from the top in sixth, followed closely by satellite Honda riders Alvaro Bautista (Gresini) and Stefan Bradl (LCR).

Home star Karel Abraham was a further 1.2s behind in ninth for Cardion AB Ducati, with Randy de Puniet rounding out the top ten as the leading CRT ride. Aspar ART team-mate Aleix Espargaro was eleventh, with Avintia's Yonny Hernandez putting his Friday falls behind him for a solid twelfth.

Pramac Ducati stand-in Toni Elias was the last of the manufacturer riders in 13th

Colin Edwards, who seems increasingly disillusioned with the Suter-BMW, was 19th and last, with a lap time almost six-seconds off the pace and over a second behind next slowest Danilo Petrucci (Ioda).

Saturday practice:

1. Dani Pedrosa
2. Ben Spies
3. Jorge Lorenzo
4. Andrea Dovizioso
5. Cal Crutchlow
6. Valentino Rossi
7. Alvaro Bautista
8. Stefan Bradl
9. Karel Abraham
10. Randy De Puniet
11. Aleix Espargaro
12. Yonny Hernandez
13. Toni Elias
14. Michele Pirro
15. Mattia Pasini
16. Ivan Silva
17. James Ellison
18. Danilo Petrucci
19. Colin Edwards


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