Dani Pedrosa’s hopes of exerting more pressure on Jorge Lorenzo at the top of the MotoGP world championship got off to the perfect start in Misano today after a brilliant practice performance from the Spaniard.
The 24-year-old was untouchable at the top of the timesheets this afternoon as he easily defeated the field in warm but breezy conditions.
Pedrosa’s best lap of 1.34.772 was a massive 0.612s clear of Repsol Honda team-mate Andrea Dovizioso as he continued the dominant form that carried him to an easy win in Indianapolis five days ago.
Pedrosa’s third win of the season in America cut Lorenzo’s title lead to 68-points and with the Fiat Yamaha rider struggling again today, Pedrosa said: “It’s been really a good start here in Misano compared to last year and I'm very happy about that.
"We are coming from a strong result at the last race and it's important to keep the momentum going, which we have done so far. But we need to remain very concentrated and focused because we still have some areas to improve, and I'm sure our rivals will also go quicker tomorrow.
"Our pace has been quite fast today and Andrea is close to the front as well, so this is a good sign for the team. Here the grid positions are very important again because the first corner is close to the start and it’s a tight bend.
"Because of this we need to make sure we have a good pace tomorrow so that we can qualify well, and also so that we are ready for another long and tough race.
"I can say this was one of my best Friday practices, but I'm not going to relax at all.”
Dovizioso’s fastest lap of 1.35.384 secured him second from Lorenzo by just 0.060s and the Italian said: “I’m happy with the work done during this session and I’m satisfied to be second.
"Six-tenths behind Dani is quite a big gap but I think we have the opportunity to close this. At the end I was able to improve my lap times with the tyres I used for the whole session, so I’m confident we can move forward tomorrow.
"I think everyone was struggling for grip today and it was easy to lose the front, but we found a set-up solution that was effective to help with this so we’ll continue working in that direction tomorrow.
"Tyre selection for the race will be very important, and both the harder and softer option Bridgestones look like possible choices at the moment.”