Dani Pedrosa recovered from a big moment at the end of the back straight in FP1 to clock the fourth fastest time as practice for the Japanese MotoGP commenced at Motegi.

The Spanish rider got out of shape on the Repsol Honda in the morning session as he adapted to the larger carbon discs, which are a necessity at Motegi due to the heavy braking zones.

"I think I set a 'stoppie' record because it was very long! Maybe three or four seconds and very high-speed," Pedrosa said.

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"I asked my mechanics to check how long it was. With the bigger discs sure you had to adapt a little bit, but we definitely need them here."

Pedrosa ended the day ahead of team-mate Marc Marquez, who has his first opportunity this weekend to secure the MotoGP crown for a second season.

"I think we had a good day of free practices," he said. "The track conditions were good and we were able to try out different tyres. In the afternoon we tried riding with the hard rear tyre, but we didn't use the hard front like others did.

"We will probably try that out tomorrow. Today we did some runs with a good pace, but we have to work harder to improve our lap times and be very focused on setting a good time in qualifying."

Pedrosa's fastest lap was 1m 45.727s, which put him behind LCR Honda's Stefan Bradl by 0.090s and was just over half a second off the fastest overall lap posted by Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso on the extra soft Bridgestone tyre.

Marquez was sixth on Friday and must beat nearest title rival Pedrosa to have a chance of being crowned champion in Sunday's race, also the home event of Honda.