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Pedrosa sets the tone in final practice

Dani Pedrosa fastest during Saturday practice for the Malaysian MotoGP at Sepang, both factory Ducati riders fall at the same turn.
MotoGP title rivals Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo raised their pace to drop below Pedrosa's best Friday time during Saturday's final practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang.

Pedrosa, Casey Stoner and Lorenzo had been covered by just 0.3s in Friday's only dry session, with all three choosing to skip the wet afternoon practice.

Lorenzo then made a hot start to Saturday's session, beating Pedrosa's Friday time within three laps. The Yamaha star remained on top until Pedrosa took over by 0.158s just before the halfway stage.

That kept Pedrosa, winner of four of the past five races but still 28-points from Lorenzo, in charge to the end. The soft rear tyre was again the preferred choice. Pedrosa's best time was set on lap 6 of 16 and Lorenzo lap 3 of 19.

While Pedrosa and Lorenzo were up front from the start, Stoner - who looked in much better physical shape on Friday relative to his comeback from ankle surgery last weekend at Motegi - appeared to suffer front brake problems.

The Australian, who ran straight on at Turn 4, was in and out of the Repsol Honda pits for much of the session, where mechanics were seen working on the front of his bike.

The reigning world champion finally moved into third place with ten minutes to go, but was 0.5s from team-mate Pedrosa and didn't beat the Spaniard's Friday best.

While Stoner worked on solving his issues, Yamaha Tech 3 team-mates Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow had held third and fourth, before being pushed down a place by Stoner.

Lorenzo's team-mate Ben Spies ran off track at the final turn on his way to sixth place, but over one-second from Pedrosa.

Last weekend's podium finisher Alvaro Bautista took seventh for Gresini Honda, with Nicky Hayden the lead Ducati rider in eighth (+1.493s).

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October 20, 2012 5:23 AM

gotta say that scene of vale and the marshals was so funny i had tears down my face , glad he's ok though. suppose if it was stoner in that situation he would be called disrespectful and bad for the sport. its a funny world , very funny world....cheers.

Garrett from South Africa - Unregistered

October 20, 2012 12:48 PM

Gentlemen ! the reasons Rossi can get away with almost anything is that he has amazing charisma which the rest of the grid dnt have , his a natural and very funny indeed ! Other riders cannot even be compared to his achievements in MotoGP nor his comical side and his crowd pulling ability in every country!So even if another rider (lets say CS) in the future had to win 9 titles or more he could never be as big as the Rockstar of MotoGP (Vale) ! there is only one and will only ever be one ....the rest have talent and thats all they got....unfortunately !

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