Pedrosa leads sunny final practice at Valencia

Saturday, November 10, 2012
2012 MotoGP title runner-up Dani Pedrosa led the way during a slow-starting final free practice session for the Valencia season finale.

After a wet and gloomy Friday, Saturday practice saw the best weather of the weekend, with bright sunshine from the start of the 45-minutes.

But damp patches were still present from overnight rain and, with the new asphalt proving slow to dry, only half of the 22 riders had recorded a lap time - on wets - by the halfway stage.

As on Friday afternoon, CRT riders were the first to risk a set of slicks, with the improving lap times of Avintia Blusens team-mates Ivan Silva and Hiroshi Aoyama eventually prompting the prototype riders to emerge on slicks with ten minutes to go.

Lap times duly plummeted, easily surpassing Randy de Puniet's 1m 36.965s Friday best and culminating in Pedrosa clocking a 1m 33.033s on his 13th and final lap. The official race lap record is a 1m 32.582s, set by Pedrosa's Repsol Honda team-mate Casey Stoner in 2008 (on a Ducati).

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Andrea Dovizioso got closest to Pedrosa this morning, but 0.6s adrift, with team-mate Cal Crutchlow a fraction slower. MotoGP rookie Stefan Bradl was the final rider within one-second of the top, with Nicky Hayden - fastest in FP1 - the lead Ducati in fifth place (+1.2s).

Yamaha's newly crowned double world champion Jorge Lorenzo spent the start and end of the session waving and wheelieing to the fans on his way to sixth, with fellow Spaniard Alvaro Bautista seventh for San Carlo Honda Gresini.

de Puniet was again the leading CRT rider in eighth (+1.9s), with double world champion Stoner, taking part in his final MotoGP weekend before retirement, ninth from a brief four-lap appearance.

Michele Pirro completed the top ten on his Gresini CRT, with Ducati riders Valentino Rossi and Karel Abraham eleventh and twelfth.

Providing the sunshine continues, this afternoon's qualifying session should be the first fully dry session of the weekend.

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