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MotoGP Estoril: Pedrosa pips Stoner in third session; Rossi seventh

Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa just nipped ahead of team-mate Casey Stoner to top the final MotoGP free practice timesheet at Estoril this morning despite having to park his number one bike halfway through the session and use the spare.

The tiny Spaniard pulled to the side of the track and switched his RC213V off before running back to pitlane. He promptly started putting in fast laps and then with only a few minutes to go banked a 1'37.326 which demoted the Australian to second by only 0.012s.

Factory Yamaha man Jorge Lorenzo is the best part of four-tenths of a second in arrears but the 1'37.680 was enough to keep third place and the satellite Monster YZR-M1 of Cal Crutchlow behind him in fourth. Team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, with whom the Briton is at odds (click here) is fifth and a further two-tenths back on a 1'38.273.


Alvaro Bautista has assumed his customary sixth position and is a tenth in front of Valentino Rossi, who took seventh late on with his fastest lap of 1'38.443 but The Doctor is some 1.2s off Pedrosa's pace. Nicky Hayden, on the second factory Ducati is ninth, just behind Ben Spies who struggled in the session despite making huge steps fiorward with front-end setup yesterday.

LCR man Stefan Bradl rounds out the top ten just ahead of Hector Barbera and CRT front runner Randy De Punet. It wasn't a good session for Colin Edwards and James Ellison who are second to last and last respectively. Ellison's problem with chatter has returned without the use of the softer-construction Bridgestone but it will more than likely disappear again when he uses it in qualifyig.

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