2014 Sepang MotoGP Friday Practice Results
Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa wasted no time Friday during the first free practice of the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang International Circuit.
The Spaniard, who has won at Sepang the past two years and has four other premier-class podiums there, took the quickest time with a lap time of 2:01.379. Improvements on Pedrosa’s time, along with the others’, were possible, but the second and final free practice was a washout.
Regardless, Pedrosa’s FP1 time was quicker than the Circuit Record set last season by teammate Marc Marquez – a 2:01.415 set before the 21-year-old Spaniard finished second.
When FP1 wrapped up, Pedroa was 0.014 of a second quicker than NGM Forward Racing Yamaha’s Aleix Espargaro, and 0.037 ahead of Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo
“We were able to ride in the dry this morning and set some good times, but in the afternoon the rain arrived. We shall see what the weather is like tomorrow, and hope to get more dry track time to finish analyzing the performance of the front and rear tires. We only used the soft compound this morning and we would like to try the harder compound,” Pedrosa says.
“I had a problem with the wet rear, which had hardly any tyre wear after 14 laps, but no grip from the beginning. We hope to continue developing the setup of the bike tomorrow and be able to ride with a tire that works well.”
Pedrosa is one of three pilots vying for second in points behind this year’s MotoGP Champion Marquez. Heading into last weekend’s round at Phillip Island, Pedrosa was tied with Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi for second place.
But things changed quickly in Australia when Pramac Racing Ducati’s Andrea Iannone crashed. The Italian’s GP14 ran into Pedrosa, causing damage to the Repsol Honda RC213V. This forced Pedrosa to suffer a DNF. With Rossi taking the win, and Lorenzo finishing second, Pedrosa moved back to fourth in the points. With two rounds remaining, he is 25 points behind Rossi, and 17 behind Lorenzo.
As for Marquez, he finished FP1 in fourth, 0.291 behind his teammate. With a win, Marquez, who clinched the title at Motegi two weeks ago – the first of three back-to-back races that culminates this weekend at Sepang – has a chance to tie Mick Doohan’s record of 12 wins in a single season.
Rounding out the top 10 were Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP), Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team), Yonny Hernandez (Energy T.I. Pramac Racing) and Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3).
In the wet afternoon outing, Lorenzo led ahead of Marquez, Pedrosa, Dovizioso and Aleix Espargaro.
The riders return to the 3.444-mile circuit Saturday for two additional free practices ahead of qualifying.
For more, visit 2014 Sepang MotoGP Preview.