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MotoGP Brno: Pedrosa to the front in FP3

Dani Pedrosa fastest during Free Practice 3 for the Czech Republic MotoGP at Brno.
CLICK HERE to view full Free Practice 3 results for the Brno MotoGP.

Dani Pedrosa led his first MotoGP track session since Catalunya in June by heading Saturday morning practice for the Czech Republic MotoGP at a cool, overcast but dry Brno.

A close third in the single dry session on Friday, Pedrosa was still to improve as new tyres and a push for fast times began in the final ten minutes of FP3.

Pedrosa then put in a series of fast laps, moving to the top ahead of team-mate Marc Marquez with two-minutes remaining and improving further on his penultimate lap.

That gave Pedrosa a 0.367s advantage over Marquez, who was fastest on Friday and again led most of the Saturday morning session. The reigning world champion - undefeated after ten rounds - trimmed Pedrosa's advantage down to 0.317s on his final lap of the morning.

However in terms of race pace Marquez remains the man to beat. The 21-year-old set seven sub-1 57s laps this morning, compared with three for Pedrosa.

A fraction behind Marquez on Friday, Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo dropped to fourth this morning and was the second best Yamaha rider after an impressive lap from Tech 3's Bradley Smith (+0.498s).

However the Movistar rider was the closest to Marquez for race pace, setting four laps under 1m 57s. Lorenzo was 0.504s behind Pedrosa in FP3, with team-mate Valentino Rossi just 0.005s slower. Rossi recorded two sub-1m 57 laps.

Among those seeking to break into the top ten for direct entry into Qualifying 2 were Factory class riders Andrea Iannone, Cal Crutchlow and Alvaro Bautista.

Pramac's Iannone, fastest before the rain in FP2, and Factory Ducati's Crutchlow both ran the soft rear tyre to claim their Qualifying 2 places in sixth and ninth. Pol Espargaro (Tech 3) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) finished between them.

Gresini Honda's Bautista wasn't able to advance as needed and will be joined in Qualifying 1 by LCR Honda's Stefan Bradl, who was pushed to eleventh. Aleix Espargaro and Bradl were the highest of six riders not to improve this morning. Espargaro was tenth in FP3 but ninth on combined times for Forward Yamaha.

Iannone's team-mate Yonny Hernandez and Ducati test rider Michele Pirro were 13th and 14th. Gresini rookie Scott Redding remained the top Open class Honda rider, despite dropping to 15th (+1.508s).

Countryman Leon Camier was 19th (+3.3s) after finding almost one-second, moving the Aspar stand-in ahead of Forward Yamaha's new rider Alex de Angelis. de Angelis has returned to MotoGP from Moto2 in place of Colin Edwards.

Heavily overcast skies mean that rain remains a threat for qualifying.

Free Practice 3:
1. Dani Pedrosa
2. Marc Marquez
3. Bradley Smith
4. Jorge Lorenzo
5. Valentino Rossi
6. Andrea Iannone
7. Pol Espargaro
8. Andrea Dovizioso
9. Cal Crutchlow
10. Aleix Espargaro
11. Stefan Bradl
12. Alvaro Bautista
13. Yonny Hernandez
14. Michele Pirro
15. Scott Redding
16. Hiroshi Aoyama
17. Karel Abraham
18. Hector Barbera
19. Leon Camier
20. Alex De Angelis
21. Mike Di Meglio
22. Danilo Petrucci
23. Michael Laverty
24. Broc Parkes

Tagged as: Honda , Dani Pedrosa

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