Dani Pedrosa leads Brno practice
Dani Pedrosa edged out MotoGP world title rival Jorge Lorenzo by just 0.053s today to finish on the top of the practice timesheets at the Brno circuit.
Pedrosa, who won last Sunday’s Indianapolis race to cut Lorenzo’s championship lead to 18-points, carried on his impressive form this morning when a best lap of 1.57.003 put him 0.146s clear of his compatriot.
The Spaniard improved his pace to a 1.56.858 in hot and sunny conditions this afternoon, with Lorenzo once again second with a deficit of just 0.053s.
Pedrosa is Honda’s only hope of capturing the inaugural 1000cc MotoGP crown after Casey Stoner was ruled out of the Brno race with a badly damaged right ankle he suffered in a qualifying crash at Indianapolis six days ago.
But Pedrosa ended the day limping on his left foot after a freak incident this morning in the opening practice
Powering out of the final corner, Valentino Rossi ran off the edge of the kerb and kicked up dirt and stones onto the track. One large stone could be seen on TV pictures slamming into Pedrosa’s left boot and the session was red flagged to allow circuit staff the chance to clear the debris.
It wasn’t an incident free day either for fellow Spaniard Lorenzo, who clocked a best time of 1.56.911. The factory Yamaha rider suffered a crash at Turn 7 this afternoon when he lost the front-end of his YZR-M1 machine at Turn 7. He was uninjured.
In-form Italian Andrea Dovizioso, who is chasing a sixth podium in eight races in Sunday’s Czech Republic round, finished third quickest in both sessions.
A best time of 1.57.055 secured Dovizioso third ahead of Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team-mate Cal Crutchlow.
The British rider ended with a best time of 1.57.215 to finish just 0.160s behind Dovizioso.
German Stefan Bradl was fifth with Rossi completing the top six on his factory Ducati GP12.
The 33-year-old set a best time of 1.57.315 and he was only 0.588s behind Pedrosa and only 0.1s behind Crutchlow in fourth.
Ben Spies was seventh after he failed to improve his time from this morning’s session. He’d set a best of 1.57.446 to finish FP1 in fifth position. But he could only set a fastest pace of 1.57.790 this afternoon after he crashed unhurt at Turn 5.
Alvaro Bautista, Aleix Espargaro and Yonny Hernandez also crashed unhurt in this afternoon’s session.
British rider James Ellison was 18th on the Paul Bird Motorsport Aprilia ART machine. The Cumbrian set a best time of 2.01.137. That knocked a second off his best lap this morning.