MotoGP: Pedrosa tops damp opening day in Aragon

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Dani Pedrosa has ended the opening day of MotoGP action at Motorland Aragon at the top of the timing sheets, finishing the day 0.2 clear of Jorge Lorenzo after on and off again rain plagued the Spanish track all day long.

With rain falling throughout the day, a series of riders spent time at the top of the time screens, but it was a late lap from Pedrosa that left him top of the order ahead of tomorrow’s second day of action.

“I’m happy with this day, even if it was obviously a bit strange. Both times when we were preparing to go on track, it started to rain and we had to change setup and tyres. As it happened, we never had the opportunity to fit the slicks and didn’t do a lot of laps in the rain either because the track was wet, though not too much. This afternoon in particular, the last part of the track was almost dry, the long corner and the straight, and the tyres warmed up quite a lot. Tomorrow we’ll see which conditions we’ll have and what feeling we’ll be able to find.”

Johann Zarco was a surprise third place, the best of the Yamahas as both factory bikes struggled outside the top ten with a still-injured Valentino Rossi in 20th and teammate Maverick Viñales just ahead in 17th.

Second Repsol Honda rider Marc Marquez heads the second row from Karel Abraham and the best of the Brits Cal Crutchlow, with Sam Lowes enjoying a good day to finish just behind him seventh.

Joint championship leader Andrea Dovizioso and brothers Aleix and Pol Espargaró rounded out the top ten.

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer