When both of Friday’s free practice sessions wrapped up for 2011 Sepang MotoGP, it was a Repsol Honda 1-2-3 up top after the times were combined, with two additional Hondas following.
Instead of 2011 MotoGP Champion Casey Stoner leading the charge, though, it was teammate Dani Pedrosa on top. The Spaniard posted a 2:01.250 on the 3.447-mile Malaysian circuit. Pedrosa’s time was quicker than Stoner’s lap record (2:02.158) set in 2007, the year Stoner achieved his first title aboard the title.
Stoner wasa 0.840 of a second behind Pedrosa, with the third Repsol Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso a full 1.414 seconds behind. Dovizioso was the only rider to not improve on his FP1 time during the second practice session, but it was fast enough to remain in the top three.
But that wasn’t it for the Honda’s – following the Repsol MotoGP boys was the San Carlo Honda Gresini team of Marco Simoncelli and Hiroshi Aoyama; Simoncelli was over. 1.5 seconds behind Pedrosa, with Aoyama trailing "Super Sic" by a tenth of a second.
The top Yamaha was the Monster Tech 3 M1 piloted by the American Colin Edwards. He posted a 2:02.991, and was followed 0.123 of a second back by Rizla Suzuki’s Alvaro Bautista.
Rounding out the top 10 combined times were Pramac Racing Ducati’s Randy de Puniet, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies and Cardion AB Ducati’s Karel Abraham.
The Ducati Team of Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi were the first two outside the top 10 times, both struggling with setup aboard the GP11.1.
As for Wildcard Entry John Hopkins whose piloting a second Rilza Suzuki GSVR, the American was 14th quickest. Mapfre Ducati’s Hector Barbera, who is recovering from a broken shoulder he sustained at Motegi MotoGP, ran for four laps, posting the 17th-fastest time.
Replacement rider for injured Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo, Katsuyuki Nakasuga, started the day strong but crashed in both sessions, ending the day in 18th.
2011 Sepang MotoGP: Friday Practice Results (Combined):
1. Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team 2:01.250s (FP2)
2. Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda Team 2:02.070s (FP2) +0.820s
3. Andrea Dovizioso, Repsol Honda Team 2:02.590s (FP1) +1.340s
4. Marco Simoncelli, San Carlo Honda Gresini 2:02.823s (FP2) +1.573s
5. Hiroshi Aoyama, San Carlo Honda Gresini 2:02.951s (FP2) +1.701s
6. Colin Edwards, Monster Yamaha Tech3 2:02.991s (FP2) +1.741s
7. Alvaro Bautista, Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 2:03.123s (FP2) +1.873s
8. Randy de Puniet, Pramac Racing Team 2:03.159s (FP2) +1.909s
9. Ben Spies, Yamaha Factory Racing 2:03.312s (FP2) +2.062s
10. Karel Abraham, Cardion AB Motoracing 2:03.318s (FP2) +2.068s