Dani Pedrosa fastest in first MotoGP practice session at Sepang

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

Dani Pedrosa fastest in first MotoGP practice session 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 
shares
comments
Yamaha 'adjusting targets' for the Malaysian Grand Prix

Previous article

Yamaha 'adjusting targets' for the Malaysian Grand Prix

Next article

Dani Pedrosa dominates MotoGP Friday practice in Malaysia

Dani Pedrosa dominates MotoGP Friday practice in Malaysia
Load comments
The three factors that crowned MotoGP’s newest champion at Misano Plus

The three factors that crowned MotoGP’s newest champion at Misano

The prospect of Fabio Quartararo clinching the 2021 MotoGP world championship title at Misano appeared small after struggling to 15th in qualifying, while main rival Francesco Bagnaia took pole. Here's how the Yamaha rider turned it around, with help from an ill-fated Bagnaia tyre choice, to secure the crown with two races to spare

MotoGP
Oct 25, 2021
Marco Simoncelli: Remembering MotoGP's ultimate maverick 10 years on Plus

Marco Simoncelli: Remembering MotoGP's ultimate maverick 10 years on

Saturday 23 October marks the 10th anniversary of Marco Simoncelli's death. The one-time 250cc world champion and double MotoGP podium finisher was the ultimate maverick character with big hair, a big personality and an even bigger talent. Autosport pays tribute to a much-missed figure, a decade on

MotoGP
Oct 23, 2021
Why Quartararo has evolved more than Yamaha on his road to the MotoGP title Plus

Why Quartararo has evolved more than Yamaha on his road to the MotoGP title

Fabio Quartararo has his first match point in the 2021 MotoGP title race this weekend at Misano. While the 2021 Yamaha is a much-improved bike to its inconsistent predecessor, its the rider himself who has shown the biggest evolution this season. Oriol Puigdemont delves into Quartararo's growth.

MotoGP
Oct 19, 2021
How KTM has wrestled control of young MotoGP talent from Honda Plus

How KTM has wrestled control of young MotoGP talent from Honda

There once was a time when Honda controlled any young rider who emerged in motorcycling, but its market dominance has now swung to the side of MotoGP rival KTM and, to a lesser extent Ducati. Could this development have significant ramifications for the future?

MotoGP
Oct 12, 2021
Why Marc Marquez has to reinvent himself as a MotoGP rider Plus

Why Marc Marquez has to reinvent himself as a MotoGP rider

Marc Marquez's romp to victory at the Grand Prix of the Americas led many to believe the 'old' pre-injury Honda rider was close to coming back to his full powers. However, the 'old' Marquez will probably never exist again and instead he'll have to adapt to his new reality to return to title-winning ways in 2022

MotoGP
Oct 6, 2021
The Marquez self-preservation that fulfilled a COTA MotoGP “dream” Plus

The Marquez self-preservation that fulfilled a COTA MotoGP “dream”

Marc Marquez scorched to his seventh Circuit of the Americas victory in MotoGP last Sunday with a display reminiscent of his pre-injury form. However, his path to the win across the weekend was in keeping with the current reality of his physical limitations, with self-preservation on Saturday key to his Sunday success

MotoGP
Oct 4, 2021
How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike Plus

How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike

His third place at Misano made Enea Bastianini the fifth different Ducati-mounted rider to score a podium in 2021. Amid a season that has seen one rider amass the bulk of Yamaha and Honda's success, the Ducati's versatility makes for a potent weapon, but the contribution of a former leading light shouldn't be forgotten

MotoGP
Sep 23, 2021
The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career Plus

The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career

Maverick Vinales’ early debut with Aprilia has been one of the most interesting plots of the recent MotoGP rounds. The results may not look standout on paper, but a closer inspection reveals just how much progress Vinales has truly made in understanding a bike that has taken him well out of his “comfort zone”

MotoGP
Sep 22, 2021