Dani Pedrosa turned the tables on MotoGP title rival Jorge Lorenzo to gain the upper hand after opening practice at Motegi in Japan.
The Repsol Honda star, who is 33 points behind Lorenzo in the championship, had to play second fiddle to Lorenzo in FP1 before hitting the top in the afternoon session as he posted the quickest lap of the day on his RCV in a time of 1m 46.088s.
Pedrosa, who tested the hard and soft compound Bridgestone rear tyres in fine conditions at the Japanese circuit, lapped inside the circuit record of 1m46.090s he set in 2011.
The diminutive Spaniard is striving to keep the pressure on Lorenzo in the championship battle and made the perfect start as he targets a maximum 25 points on Sunday.
“Today was a perfect day for practice. The track conditions were very good, the warm temperatures helped as did the new surface, so we were able to do the job we wanted,” said Pedrosa.
“The main target today was to test the tyres and we completed some good laps on both hard and soft compounds.
“The asphalt is new and the grip is quite good, so the lap times are pretty fast from the beginning.
“We also did some work on the suspension and the mapping to will keep improving on this tomorrow.”