Felice Monteleone – FMPhotoSport MotoGP News
HRC Repsol MotoGP Team, Japanese GP Free Practice
Dani Pedrosa makes positive start at Motegi
Repsol Honda Team rider places second on first day of practice for Japanese Grand Prix, and Marc Marquez finishes seventh.
Just 0.128s separated Dani Pedrosa from the fastest time of the day at Twin Ring Motegi, where today saw the first practice sessions for the Japanese Grand Prix. The Repsol Honda rider was second behind Jorge Lorenzo, with teammate Marc Marquez in seventh position.
In the first practice session, Pedrosa completed 17 laps, putting in a best time of 1:45.896. That placed him fifth on the timesheet. Another 20 laps in the second session of the day allowed him to lower his times by more than a second, going just 0.128s off Friday’s fastest man, Jorge Lorenzo.
Marc Marquez, who comes into the Japanese GP off the back of an injury to his left hand when training, went seventh in both the first and second session. He put in 32 laps in the two free practice sessions today, improving by half a second to set a top time of 1:45.492. He was 0.761s off Lorenzo. The Repsol Honda Team rider did not want to force the pace today, in order to avoid inflammation to his injured hand.
Tomorrow will see the second day of action in Japan, with two free practice sessions and qualifying to decide the grid for Sunday
“The first practice was useful for us to see how my finger felt, and to correctly adapt my riding position and it went pretty well. At least I was able to ride correctly and brake late, which is the important thing. Obviously it hurts, but it is bearable. As for the setup, we have made improvements but we still have room to do better –above all with the electronics, which we need to adjust to this circuit. We will see tomorrow if we can take another step forward and get amongst the top five.”
“We tested a lot of things out in the practice sessions today and we finished in a good position, but we encountered more problems than we had expected. However, we are working as best we can to reduce these problems and go faster. We shall see just how much we are able to improve tomorrow.”