Dani Pedrosa was battling grip issues as the Repsol Honda rider completed FP1 at the Qatar MotoGP in sixth place on the time sheets.

Pedrosa managed 16 lap on his RC213V during the 45-minute session, setting a best time of 1m 56.332s on his 13th lap as he ended the first free practice session as the leading factory rider.

"We had a few problems today with grip, which is something that some of the riders who rode here at the test two weeks ago had commented about before," he said.

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"There isn't much grip on the track and that means we have to try to get the most out of the bike under these circumstances.

"We'll see if the track improves with a little more rubber laid down, giving us more traction," he added. "Today we just didn't really have any, even though the track was in good condition. We still hope to improve session-by-session."

Pedrosa's time was 1.131s off the fastest lap of the session set by Aleix Espargaro on the Open Forward Yamaha.

The official Honda, Yamaha and Ducati teams did not attend the Qatar test earlier this month, having instead participated in a Bridgestone test at Phillip Island.