Photography by Gold & Goose
SEPANG, Malaysia (Oct. 12, 2013) — With his championship hopes nearly gone after his Aragon crash, Dani Pedrosa traveled to Malaysia a little bit edgy. He seems to have channeled his anger into a positive at Sepang International Circuit by turning in the fastest time in MotoGP practice Friday. Pedrosa topped the list on his Repsol Honda, clocking a 2:00.554 on the 3.4-mile circuit, just a few clicks off the track record set by Jorge Lorenzo last year of 2:00.334 and over a half-second faster than Marc Marquez.
Besides the immediate speed of Pedrosa, the other story coming out of Friday’s session was the poor showing by defending world champion Jorge Lorenzo. Lorenzo spent a good portion of the session in the pits looking somewhat flustered. It turns out one of the issues were with the engine braking settings on his factory Yamaha. The team then later changed the rear suspension on his machine. To say that last year’s Malaysia pole winner was chasing setup would be a major understatement and he looked none too happy in his box. Pedrosa only managed the sixth fastest time in FP2 and he was frustratingly behind other Yamaha riders Cal Crutchlow and Valentino Rossi.
If Pedrosa can’t win the championship it seems he at least wants to remind everyone of the speed he still possesses. He’s apparently still seething after the run-in with his teammate at Aragon, which cut his traction control wire and caused him to crash. Eye witnesses said that Pedrosa was giving Marquez a piece of his mind before the hearing with racing officials at Sepang, leading to some thought that the Honda garage could soon turn into the same chilly environment that marked the Lorenzo/Rossi situation at Yamaha a few years back.
Alvaro Bautista went down in turn four with a lowside halfway through the session, after leading the session in the early laps. He was up and OK walking away from the crash. Nicky Hayden ran off the track into a gravel trap while running tenth in the session. He negotiated the gravel and was able to get back on track.
In the end it was Pedrosa by over a half second ahead of Marquez. Crutchlow finished the day third, followed by Rossi and Bautista.
Nicky Hayden, who still hasn’t announced his 2014 plans, finished the day in eighth on the factory Ducati.
Colin Edwards was 14th on the NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR Kawasaki. That put him as the third fastest among CRT riders, following Aleix Espargaro and Hector Barbera.
Malaysian MotoGP, Sepang – Free Practice 2
1. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 2m 0.554s
2. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 2m 1.087s
3. Cal Crutchlow GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 2m 1.423s
4. Valentino Rossi ITA Yamaha Factory Racing (YZR-M1) 2m 1.538s
5. Alvaro Bautista ESP Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RC213V) 2m 1.659s
6. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Yamaha Factory Racing (YZR-M1) 2m 1.710s
7. Stefan Bradl GER LCR Honda MotoGP (RC213V) 2m 1.727s
8. Nicky Hayden USA Ducati Team (GP13) 2m 2.373s
9. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (GP13) 2m 2.487s
10. Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 2m 2.551s
11. Aleix Espargaro ESP Power Electronics Aspar (ART CRT) 2m 2.610s
12. Andrea Iannone ITA Energy T.I. Pramac Racing (GP13) 2m 2.819s
13. Hector Barbera ESP Avintia Blusens (FTR-Kawasaki CRT) 2m 3.225s
14. Colin Edwards USA NGM Forward Racing (FTR-Kawasaki CRT) 2m 3.707s
15. Yonny Hernandez COL Ignite Pramac Racing (GP13) 2m 3.780s
16. Randy De Puniet FRA Power Electronics Aspar (ART CRT) 2m 3.922s
17. Hiroshi Aoyama JPN Avintia Blusens (FTR-Kawasaki CRT) 2m 4.414s
18. Claudio Corti ITA NGM Forward Racing (FTR-Kawasaki CRT) 2m 4.807s
19. Danilo Petrucci ITA Came IodaRacing Project (Suter-BMW CRT) 2m 4.965s
20. Michael Laverty GBR Paul Bird Motorsport (ART CRT) 2m 5.551s
21. Luca Scassa ITA Cardion AB Motoracing (ART CRT) 2m 5.598s
22. Bryan Staring AUS Go&Fun Honda Gresini (FTR-Honda CRT) 2m 6.538s
23. Lukas Pesek CZE Came IodaRacing Project (Suter-BMW CRT) 2m 7.024s
24. Damian Cudlin AUS Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART CRT) 2m 7.122s