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MOTOGP NEWS 

Le Mans MotoGP: Pedrosa leads first practice from Lorenzo

Dani Pedrosa, Honda, Le Mans MotoGP 2013Dani Pedrosa hung on at the top of the times in opening MotoGP practice at Le Mans despite a strong late challenge from Jorge Lorenzo.

Pedrosa's Honda had led the way for most of the morning, getting down to rapid flying laps quicker than anyone else and building an early cushion over the field.

When Lorenzo slipped his Yamaha ahead mid-session, Pedrosa immediately found more pace and put in a 1m34.645s to go four tenths clear.

But in the closing minutes Lorenzo narrowed the gap considerably, first to 0.2 seconds and then just 0.004s with his final lap.

Valentino Rossi completed the top three on the second Yamaha.

Ducati's weekend got off to a very encouraging start, with late runs from Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso getting both into the top five.

Championship leader Marc Marquez was in the top three for a while, but was pushed down to seventh - behind Cal Crutchlow - in the final minutes.

Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl were next up, while Hector Barbera again shone as he beat Aleix Espargaro to CRT honours and the final top-10 spot.

Ben Spies' stand-in Michele Pirro was down in 13th having had to switch to his spare Pramac Ducati due to a mechanical problem.

Conditions were dry and sunny, if cold, but rain is forecast for much of the weekend.

Pos Rider                Team/Bike           Time       Gap       Laps
 1. Dani Pedrosa         Honda               1m34.645s             19
 2. Jorge Lorenzo        Yamaha              1m34.685s  + 0.040s   16
 3. Valentino Rossi      Yamaha              1m34.938s  + 0.293s   22
 4. Nicky Hayden         Ducati              1m34.972s  + 0.327s   19
 5. Andrea Dovizioso     Ducati              1m35.072s  + 0.427s   20
 6. Cal Crutchlow        Tech 3 Yamaha       1m35.149s  + 0.504s   20
 7. Marc Marquez         Honda               1m35.170s  + 0.525s   19
 8. Alvaro Bautista      Gresini Honda       1m35.285s  + 0.640s   20
 9. Stefan Bradl         LCR Honda           1m35.478s  + 0.833s   20
10. Hector Barbera       Avintia FTR         1m35.949s  + 1.304s   21
11. Aleix Espargaro      Aspar Aprilia       1m36.083s  + 1.438s   18
12. Andrea Iannone       Pramac Ducati       1m36.211s  + 1.566s   18
13. Michele Pirro        Ducati              1m36.607s  + 1.962s   15
14. Randy De Puniet      Aspar Aprilia       1m36.745s  + 2.100s   20
15. Bradley Smith        Tech 3 Yamaha       1m36.790s  + 2.145s   21
16. Hiroshi Aoyama       Avintia FTR         1m36.872s  + 2.227s   21
17. Claudio Corti        Forward FTR         1m37.325s  + 2.680s   19
18. Colin Edwards        Forward FTR         1m37.431s  + 2.786s   17
19. Yonny Hernandez      Paul Bird Aprilia   1m37.597s  + 2.952s   20
20. Danilo Petrucci      Ioda-Suter          1m37.620s  + 2.975s   20
21. Karel Abraham        Cardion Aprilia     1m38.209s  + 3.564s   16
22. Bryan Staring        Gresini FTR-Honda   1m38.516s  + 3.871s   17
23. Michael Laverty      Paul Bird PBM       1m39.325s  + 4.680s   19
24. Lukas Pesek          Ioda-Suter          1m39.710s  + 5.065s   16

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