Pedrosa fastest for Motegi GP

2012-10-13 07:24

MOTEGI, Japan - Dani Pedrosa edged out championship points leader Jorge Lorenzo in free practice on Friday ahead of the 2012 Japanese Motorcycle MotoGP, stepping up his bid to overtake the fellow Spaniard for the title.

The factory Honda rider clocked 1min46.088 in the second of the day's two sessions to top the time sheets, just more than a tenth faster than Yamaha ace Lorenzo.

Italian Andrea Dovizioso, on a Tech 3 Yamaha, was third fastest at 0.194 behind Pedrosa as sunshine drenched the 4.8km geometric Motegi circuit.


Pedrosa's Australian team mte and reigning World champion Casey Stoner, who missed the last three races after injuring an ankle while qualifying for the Indianapolis GP in August, clocked seventh-best - 1min46.978.

Pedrosa appeared to keep the momentum going after winning the previous race in Aragon, Spain, for his third victory in the last four GP rounds. Lorenzo was second at Aragon.

"Today was a perfect day for practice," he said. "The track conditions were very good. The warm temperatures helped as did the new surface, so we were able to do the job we wanted."

Pedrosa, 27 and bidding for his first title in the premier class, added: "The asphalt is new and the grip is quite good so the lap times were pretty fast from the beginning."

Lorenzo, who has won six races so far this season against four for Pedrosa, is leading him by 33 points in his bid for his second MotoGP title. He led the first session in the morning, with a 0.141 gap over Pedrosa who beat him into second spot at the 2011 Japanese GP on Honda's home track.


"We started in a very good way here, much better than in Aragon where we had issues with the life of the rear tyre," Lorenzo said. "We have a very good pace and with a little change in the electronics were able to go a bit faster."

"The Hondas are very good here but our bike is also so I think we can fight with them for the victory."

The grid for Sunday's Japanese GP, the 15th of the 18-round championship, will be decided in the qualifying session after another free practice on Saturday.

The injury has ended two-time World champion Stoner's bid to retain the title before his retirement from GP racing at the end of the 2012 season. He's 104 points behind Lorenzo and, with four races to go in the season, is unable to overtake him as the winner of each event collects 25 points.

"Of course I'm not feeling 100 percent, so I wanted to get a reasonable feeling with it before I start pushing," Stoner said.