Pedrosa Fast at Wet Donington Park

Cycle News Staff | July 24, 2009

Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa stole top honors with a fast lap at the end of a mostly wet free practice session for the final British Grand Prix at Donington Park.The session began on a completely wet track before the sun peaked through as the session progressed and the track began to dry out. But the track was never dry enough for full slicks and everyone set their best times on rain tires.Pedrosa was nowhere near the top when he dropped a 1:38.627 secs. lap on the field at the end of the hour. The lap put him .245 secs. up on Ducati Marlboro’s Casey Stoner, who did the fewest laps of anyone in the field and sat out the last six minutes. Stoner has won the past two British GP’s, despite not liking the track.Fiat Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi, who hasn’t won here since 2005, finished third .045 secs. behind Stoner. His best lap came in the final two minutes.Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso jumped up to second with just over two minutes remaining, but was dropped first by Rossi, then by Pedrosa. He finished fourth.Fiat Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo moved up to fifth after the hour had expired.That dropped Hayate Racing’s Marco Melandri (Kaw) to sixth, Pramac Racing’s Mika Kallio (Duc) to seventh, and Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Colin Edwards to eighth. Edwards had clocked the fifth fastest time with about 1:15 remaining, before falling three spots.Toni Elias (San Carlo Honda Gresini) was ninth, with Ducati Marlboro’s Nicky Hayden filling out the top ten.The 23rd British Grand Prix will be the last on the 2.5-mile circuit in the British East Midlands. Next year the British round moves to Silverstone, where the world championship ran until moving to Donington in 1987.

Friday Practice:

1. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1:38.627

2. Casey Stoner (Ducati) 1:38.872

3. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1:38.917

4. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) 1:39.069

5. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1:39.105

6. Marco Melandri (Kawasaki) 1:39.130

7. Mika Kallio (Ducati) 1:39.209

8. Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 1:39.563

9. Toni Elias (Honda) 1:39.755

10. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1:40.116