Boosted by his first win of 2013 in Jerez earlier this month, Dani Pedrosa continued his impressive run of form in France today to top the opening day of practice at the historic Le Mans track.
A best lap of 1.34.035 put the Repsol Honda rider just 0.134s clear of world championship leader and teammate Marc Marquez in cool but dry conditions ahead of the fourth round of the 2013 campaign.
Pedrosa had topped the timesheets in this morning’s FP1 with a quickest lap of 1.34.645 to deny reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi.
Rossi ended an encouraging opening day in third position as the top nine were split by just over 0.7s.
A best lap of 1.34.173 put Rossi only 0.004s behind Marquez with Lorenzo taking fourth position with a personal best of 1.34.201. The top four were split by only 0.166s, with Stefan Bradl taking fifth and British rider Cal Crutchlow completing the top six.
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Crutchlow set a best time of 1.34.512 to finish just 0.477s behind Pedrosa.
Factory Ducati duo Andrea Dovizioso, Nicky Hayden, Alvaro Bautista and Aleix Espargaro rounded out the top 10 while British rider Bradley Smith took 11th on the leaderboard.
The Oxfordshire rider set a best time of 1.35.433 to finish just over 0.317s outside of the top 10.
Irish rider Michael Laverty’s ended 23rd quickest on the British-built PBM chassis and he ended with a best time of 1.38.023.