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Pedrosa tops Malaysia first practice

2014-10-24 14:41

PEDROSA POURS IT ON IN SEPANG: Honda's Dani Pedrosa ended on top from first practice on Friday ahead of the 2014 Malaysia MotoGP. Rain poured for the second session. Image: AFP / Mohd Rasfan

SEPANG, Malaysia - Dani Pedrosa, winner of the previous two Malaysian MotoGP's, dominated opening practice on Friday as he clocked the fastest time ahead of Sunday's (October 26) race. The Spanish Honda rider turned on the heat in the morning session with a time of 2min1.379 to lead the chasing pack at the Sepang circuit.

He was followed by compatriot and Forward Yamaha rider Aleix Espargaro, who trailed Pedrosa by 0.014sec despite a minor crash at the end of the first session.Third was double MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo at +0.037 behind Pedrosa.

SOARING HEAT, POURING RAIN

Lorenzo said: "Dani seems to be strong here on the dry, like always, but I think we can fight for the win... I was feeling great on the bike. We hope to have either a completely wet race or a completely dry race, but not something in between because that would be difficult for everyone."

The south-east Asian country is known for its soaring temperatures and torrential afternoon downpours. Friday was no exception. Heavy rain saw the second practice session slightly delayed, forcing riders to change to wet-track tyres and slowing down their times.

Spanish sensation Marc Marquez, who clinched the 2014 Riders' championship two races earlier in Japan, was fourth, +0.291 on Pedrosa. He was followed by Germany Honda rider Stefan Bradl and Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi: the latter won the Australian MotoGP the previous Sunday.

Marquez, eyeing to equal Australian Mick Doohan's record of 12 wins in a season this weekend after falling the previous week, said: "I was pretty comfortable for both sessions, despite it being wet in the afternoon. It was actually a good thing, because we have experienced rain and will be ready should it pour again on Sunday.

"But we're certainly hoping for dry conditions on Saturday so that we can keep developing the bike's set-up." The 21-year-old in 2013 became the youngest rider to win the MotoGP championship. With Marquez triumphing again this year, Italian legend Rossi aims to cement the season's second spot in Malaysia. Rossi, a nine-times champion through various classes, is now eight points ahead of his team mate Lorenzo in the standings with just the Malaysia and Valencia races left in the season.

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Read more on:    yamaha  |  honda  |  rossi  |  marquez  |  lorenzo  |  pedrosa  |  malaysia

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