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2013-02-27 08:40

LOOKING GOOD: Spanish MotoGP rider Dani Pedrosa back on January 24 2013 during the presentation of the Repsol Honda Team in Madrid, Spain. He's dominated practice at Jerez. Image: AFP

SEPANG, Malaysia - Spain's Dani Pedrosa maintained his dominance of pre-2013 season MotoGP testing here on Tuesday (Feb 26) as rivals admitted their machines were slower than his Honda.

The first day of tests saw Pedrosa clock 2min01.580, meaning the three-times MotoGP runner-up has led the pack in pre-season testing after topping the time sheet across the opening session three weeks earlier.

Yamaha rivals current champion Jorge Lorenzo and nine-times World champion Valentino Rossi said their team needed to work faster after seeing Pedrosa's Honda pull away.


Rossi said: "I stayed behind Dani for two or three corners but the Honda is very fast under in acceleration." Ross was 0.448sec off the pace in fifth.

Lorenzo was second, sandwiched between his two countrymen on Hondas, 0.235sec behind Pedrosa but 0.127 ahead of rookie Marc Marquez.

The Ducatis of Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden stood at eighth and ninth respectively and more than a second off the pace. Both noted problems with turning and Dovizioso said after trailing Pedrosa for two laps that this was his "main problem".

"When you go in, it doesn't continue, it wants to go straight," the Italian said.

American Hayden added that he faced harshness over bumps but hoped that by the first 2013 race in Qatar on April 7 "we are not a second, two seconds off".


However Pedrosa was guarded despite setting the pace on all four days of pre-season testing, saying "we still have some way to go".

The 27-year-old, gunning for his first MotoGP title, explained: "We've some things more or less clear for the season but we're still deciding yes or no for the hardware. When it's all set I can feel more where I am."

A hot and sunny Sepang circuit gave way to rain in the afternoon but most of the riders opted against wet laps. Honda's Marquez, who turned 20 two weeks earlier, said he would do wet tests if rain persisted - his first since stepping up to the premier class after winning Moto2 in 2012.

This second test session at Sepang will end on Thursday but a third session will be held in Jerez from March 23-25 before the opening round of the MotoGP World championship in Qatar under floodlights on April 7.

Malaysia will host Round 15 on October 13 2013


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