Pedrosa sets the pace in opening practice at Sepang

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Dani Pedrosa is looking to prove that his Phillip Island form was a blip and the Spaniard was a man on a mission in FP1 at Sepang to lead the way by two tenths of a second. Championship contender Jorge Lorenzo was second fastest with Marc Marquez finishing in front of Valentino Rossi who was half a second off the pace.

The stage is set for an epic showdown on Sunday with Rossi just 11 points ahead of his Yamaha team-mate. And while fourth position after FP1 may not be the perfect start, the Italian superstar has been much further down the field after opening practice sessions this year.

If he can start on the front row he has every chance of extending his title lead going into the final round at Valencia in two weeks time.

A late lap from Scott Redding saw the Marc VDS jump into the top five and finish ahead of Cal Crutchlow who had a fall at turn five. Bradley Smith struggled to 15th.

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Steve English

By Steve English