Le Mans MotoGP: Pedrosa Tops Lorenzo & Rossi at FP1

Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa at Le Mans

Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa at Le Mans

2013 Le Mans MotoGP Free Practice One Results

The man who dominated round three of the 2013 MotoGP Championship two weeks ago at Jerez was in top form at the first of four free practices ahead of the Grand Prix of France at Le Mans.

This rider, Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, took advantage of Friday’s dry conditions, and piloted his RC213V to a 1:34.645 around the legendary Le Mans Bugatti Grand Prix Circuit.

This was no surprise, considering Pedrosa holds three records at Le Mans – Fastest Lap (1:32.647, 2008, Honda), Circuit Record (1:33.617, 2011, Honda), and Best Pole (1:32.647, 2008).

Pedrosa has three wins at Le Mans in the former 250cc and 125cc classes, but never achieved a victory at Le Mans. His best results came in 2009 when he finished third.

But this can’t be said for the two riders following Pedrosa in FP1. Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi were second and third, respectively, and both YZR-M1 riders hold three wins each at Le Mans.

Lorenzo, who used a new chassis at Le Mans, trailed Pedrosa by a mere 0.040 of a second. Rossi, who used an older chassis, was 0.293 of a second back.

Taking the fourth and fifth positions were the Ducati Team duo of Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso, respectively. While with Ducati the past two years, Rossi finished on the podium at Le Mans both years.

Hayden trailed Pedrosa by 0.327 of a second on the Ducati GP13, and Dovi 0.427 of a second.

Just over a half-second behind Pedrosa was Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow, who finished 0.021 of a second ahead of the current championship leader, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez.

Marquez has ridden strong throughout the first three rounds, taking three podium finishes including his record-breaking win at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. After the win, Marquez became the youngest rider ever at 20-years old to win a premier-class GP.

Rounding out the top 10 in the first free practice at Le Mans was GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista, LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl and Avintia Blusens’ Hector Barbera, the leading CRT bike. Both Bautista and Barbera ran with new front springs.

MotoGP reports that En route to 15th spot, Tech 3’s Bradley Smith escaped a trip through the gravel at Dunlop, whereas Michele Pirro – substituting for the recovering Ben Spies at Ignite Pramac Racing – coasted back to the pits with a technical problem. In 21st place, Karel Abraham was returning for Cardion AB Motoracing, having been hurt in a Texas crash and requiring seven screws and a plate in his right shoulder.

With a 70-percent chance of rain in France’s forecast for Saturday, Friday’s first two free practice sessions are crucial for qualifying.

If it rains, times will slow. And under MotoGP’s new regulations, the top 10 fastest riders from the first three free practice sessions automatically enter qualifying 2 on Saturday.

The riders will return to the grid for Free Practice 2 later this afternoon.

2013 Le Mans MotoGP Free Practice 1 Results:

Pos. Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time Gap 1st/Prev.
1 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 308.5 1’34.645
2 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 307.5 1’34.685 0.040 / 0.040
3 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 303.4 1’34.938 0.293 / 0.253
4 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati 300.1 1’34.972 0.327 / 0.034
5 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 305.6 1’35.072 0.427 / 0.100
6 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 304.1 1’35.149 0.504 / 0.077
7 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 304.1 1’35.170 0.525 / 0.021
8 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA GO&FUN Honda Gresini Honda 305.5 1’35.285 0.640 / 0.115
9 6 Stefan BRADL GER LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 306.9 1’35.478 0.833 / 0.193
10 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Avintia Blusens FTR 289.3 1’35.949 1.304 / 0.471
11 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Power Electronics Aspar ART 287.6 1’36.083 1.438 / 0.134
12 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Ducati 303.5 1’36.211 1.566 / 0.128
13 51 Michele PIRRO ITA Ignite Pramac Racing Ducati 294.9 1’36.607 1.962 / 0.396
14 14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Power Electronics Aspar ART 285.9 1’36.745 2.100 / 0.138
15 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 303.5 1’36.790 2.145 / 0.045
16 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN Avintia Blusens FTR 285.9 1’36.872 2.227 / 0.082
17 71 Claudio CORTI ITA NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR Kawasaki 287.8 1’37.325 2.680 / 0.453
18 5 Colin EDWARDS USA NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR Kawasaki 287.6 1’37.431 2.786 / 0.106
19 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ COL Paul Bird Motorsport ART 283.8 1’37.597 2.952 / 0.166
20 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Came IodaRacing Project Ioda-Suter 283.3 1’37.620 2.975 / 0.023
21 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing ART 285.8 1’38.209 3.564 / 0.589
22 67 Bryan STARING AUS GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda 284.1 1’38.516 3.871 / 0.307
23 70 Michael LAVERTY GBR Paul Bird Motorsport PBM 288.3 1’39.325 4.680 / 0.809
24 52 Lukas PESEK CZE Came IodaRacing Project Ioda-Suter 284.5 1’39.710 5.065 / 0.385

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