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MotoGP Valencia: Pedrosa tops damp final practice

Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa won out in the frantic final five minutes of this morning's last MotoGP free practice session at Valencia which saw almost no action until the track dried out sufficiently for slicks to be bolted in.

An overnight deluge saw the track wet when the 45-minute began and the relatively-cold temperature meaning the drying process taking longer than usual with only the CRT men going out with wet tyres.

It wasn't until ten minutes to go, when Hiro Aoyama took his Avintia Blusens for an out lap on slick tyres, that any of the prototype men considered turning a wheel with Ducati's Nicky Hayden the first rider to put in a meaningful time on a 1'37.555.


He was usurped by Pedrosa in fairly short order on a 1'36.442 before Stefan Bradl, who has never finished a race at the Spanish track, banged in a 1'35.974 to go quickest. Pedrosa was back with a vengeance one lap later to top the German by a second.

Hayden then slotted into second place with Monster Yamaha's Cal Crutchlow third but there was no stopping Pedrosa who upped his game again on a 1'33.407 as new world champion Jorge Lorenzo pushed Hayden into third with his 1'34.296.

Crutchlow's team-mate Andrea Dovizoso made his move for fourth with three minutes left while Bradl shot back into second on a 1'33.751 but that last mere seconds as Crutchlow deposed him on the next lap.

Pedrosa sealed top spot with his final lap of a 1'33.033 and Dovizioso nabbed second with a 1'33.641 just seconds later. Crutchlow remained third with Bradl fourth, Hayden fifth and Lorenzo sixth.

Alvaro Bautista secured seventh with his last lap ahead of leading CRT man Randy De Puniet while outgoing world champion Casey Stoner remained cautious in the tricky conditions doing four laps for ninth place. Michele Pirro rounded out the top ten.

Valentino Rossi languished down in 11th place with Karel Abraham right behind him. The pair are the business end of three seconds off the pace. Colin Edwards was 20th while Britain's James Ellison struggled and didn't make the 107 per cent qualifying cut off, doing a 1'46.122 on his eighth of 11 laps.

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