Dani Pedrosa led the practice timesheets at a hot and humid Sepang circuit in Malaysia today after rain disrupted this afternoon’s second session.
The Repsol Honda rider, who is seeking his fifth win in the last six races in 2012 on Sunday, set a best time of 2.01.621 this morning to finish just 0.152s ahead of teammate Casey Stoner.
A torrential downpour shortly before the start of the second session soaked the Sepang track and made it impossible for anyone to get close to beating Pedrosa’s best pace.
Pedrosa was one of several riders not to risk going out on track in mixed conditions this afternoon. Stoner, world championship leader Jorge Lorenzo, Cal Crutchlow, Ben Spies and Andrea Dovizioso were among those who didn’t complete a lap in the second session.
Stoner’s second this morning was particularly impressive given the lack of strength and mobility in the right ankle he badly damaged in Indianapolis earlier in the season.
The reigning world champion had a tough comeback in Japan last weekend when his lack of track time showed when he tired to finish fifth.
But his best time of 2.01.773 was 0.161s faster than factory Yamaha rival Lorenzo, with Dovizioso, Crutchlow and Spies completing the top six.
It was a tough start to the weekend for Valentino Rossi, who is unlikely to add to his amazing record of six wins in Sepang.
The factory Ducati rider could only finish 11th in the dry session and his best time of 2.03.274 was a massive 1.653s off Pedrosa’s pace.
Rossi did venture out on track this afternoon and he set a best time of 2.17.173, which was seventh fastest.
Conditions improved throughout the second session but times were still way off dry weather pace. The best time went to CRT rider Ivan Silva, who clocked a best time of 2.10.920.
That put him 1.440s ahead of Michele Pirro, as the top four places were claimed by CRT bikes.
Fastest prototype rider in the rain-hit FP2 was Karel Abraham’s Cardion AB Ducati.