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Dani Pedrosa fastest in first MotoGP practice session at Sepang

Dani Pedrosa, Honda, Sepang 2011Dani Pedrosa set a commanding pace as Honda predictably led the way in opening practice at Sepang.

With Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo sidelined by the hand injury he sustained at Phillip Island, it was no surprise to see the four works-specification Hondas monopolising the leading positions in Malaysia.

Pedrosa was quickest, dipping under the lap record with his 2m01.916s, as he beat team-mates Casey Stoner and Andrea Dovizioso by 0.6 seconds. Newly-crowned champion Stoner only snatched second from Dovizioso with his last lap of the morning.

Marco Simoncelli completed the top four on Gresini's Honda.

Alvaro Bautista was fastest non-Honda rider in fifth for Suzuki, which is back up to two bikes this weekend with the return of John Hopkins, who started his weekend with 14th place.

Ben Spies was sixth for Yamaha, followed by a late surge to seventh from Pramac Ducati's Randy de Puniet. Colin Edwards (Tech 3 Yamaha) and Hiroshi Aoyama (Gresini) took eighth and ninth, with Valentino Rossi completing the top 10 on the leading factory Ducati.

Lorenzo's stand-in Katsuyuki Nakasuga was 17th, 3.4s off the pace. He had a minor fall at the final corner but was able to get the bike restarted and continue unscathed.

Nakasuga ended the session in front of Aspar Ducati's Hector Barbera, who only completed four laps before going for medical checks as he returned after breaking his collarbone at Motegi.

Pos  Rider               Team/Bike       Time       Gap
 1.  Dani Pedrosa        Honda           2m01.916s
 2.  Casey Stoner        Honda           2m02.557s  + 0.641s
 3.  Andrea Dovizioso    Honda           2m02.590s  + 0.674s
 4.  Marco Simoncelli    Gresini Honda   2m03.311s  + 1.395s
 5.  Alvaro Bautista     Suzuki          2m03.558s  + 1.642s
 6.  Ben Spies           Yamaha          2m03.586s  + 1.670s
 7.  Randy de Puniet     Pramac Ducati   2m03.760s  + 1.844s
 8.  Colin Edwards       Tech 3 Yamaha   2m03.778s  + 1.862s
 9.  Hiroshi Aoyama      Gresini Honda   2m03.908s  + 1.992s
10.  Valentino Rossi     Ducati          2m04.280s  + 2.364s
11.  Karel Abraham       Cardion Ducati  2m04.345s  + 2.429s
12.  Nicky Hayden        Ducati          2m04.474s  + 2.558s
13.  Loris Capirossi     Pramac Ducati   2m04.521s  + 2.605s
14.  John Hopkins        Suzuki          2m04.609s  + 2.693s
15.  Cal Crutchlow       Tech 3 Yamaha   2m04.666s  + 2.750s
16.  Toni Elias          LCR Honda       2m04.890s  + 2.974s
17.  Katsuyuki Nakasuga  Yamaha          2m05.390s  + 3.474s
18.  Hector Barbera      Aspar Ducati    2m06.199s  + 4.283s
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