Pedrosa leads tightly packed field in Motegi practice
Dani Pedrosa was fastest on day one of action at Motegi as the Repsol Honda rider cut a lap quicker than his circuit lap record he set on the way to winning last year’s Japanese Grand Prix.
Pedrosa set a time of 1’46.088 towards the end of FP2 to relegate championship rival Jorge Lorenzo on the Yamaha Factory Racing M1 to second quickest overall by 0.190 seconds. Third quickest today was Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso who set a time of 1’46.282. The top nine riders in free practice today set personal best lap times within one second of each other.
Tyre selection today comprised almost all the slick options brought to Motegi, with the medium and hard front and soft and medium rear slicks being used in today’s sessions. All riders started this morning’s first free practice with softer slicks front and rear to evaluate grip levels before many riders switched to the harder slick options in FP2, the harder front slick was used extensively due to its greater cornering and braking stability. The current weather forecast indicates fine weather over the rest of the weekend so riders should have two whole sessions of dry track time tomorrow to hone a race setup.
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Today we had good conditions with warm dry weather for both sessions. Most riders started in FP1 with the combination of the softer slicks front and rear to assess the grip levels of the circuit, though some riders switched to the harder front slick at the end of FP1 and for FP2 for greater front-end stability. Many riders also performed longer runs on the harder rear slick in FP2. We can expect fine weather conditions for the rest of the weekend and with the top nine riders setting a best lap within one second of each other, qualifying could prove quite exciting.”