Dani Pedrosa led the way in opening practice sessions at Brno, though the Spaniard suffered a bit of a scare when he was hit by track debris.
Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa set the pace during Friday practice in the Czech GP at the famed Brno circuit. Temperatures were hot as crashes disrupted the regular flow of morning and afternoon practice. Victims included Factory Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo, Alvaro Bautista and Ben Spies, but newcomer Yonny Hernandez struggled mightily with two crashes on the day – causing a red flag following the second. All riders were uninjured and continued to ride.
Pedrosa lead the HRC charge solo, with Repsol teammate and reigning MotoGP champ Casey Stoner returning to Australia to for surgery to repair his injured right ankle. The injury bug nearly hit the Spaniard, however, as he was hit by rocks kicked up onto the track.
“I was pretty lucky with the incident this morning as it could have been a lot worse,” said Pedrosa. “There were two massive rocks that flew up, one hit my left foot hard and the other one hit my screen and chin. At the beginning I thought I had broken something in my foot but fortunately it's ok, just a lot of swelling, anyway the pain is going down from this morning so that's a good thing."
Jorge Lorenzo led a trio of Yamaha riders from second to fourth fastest lap times on the track despite the spate of M1 crashes. The Monster Yamaha duo of Dovizioso and Crutchlow look impressive in the three-four spot but Stefan Bradl has been the surprise showing of the day finishing fifth fastest on the LCR Honda.
Rossi, a seven time GP winner at Brno, knows his way around the circuit and it showed with one of his better outings of the year aboard the Desmosedici. The Italian turned in the sixth-fastest time of the day, and is the lone rider in the factory Ducati camp with American Nicky Hayden sidelined from his Indy crash.
Said Rossi: “I’m happy because we went pretty well today, and in particular, the gap to the front makes us fairly optimistic. This is a beautiful track that I like a lot. It’s where I got my first win and my first world title, and we were also pretty strong here last year on the Ducati.”
MotoGP Brno Friday Practice Results:
1. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1’56.858
2. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1’56.911
3. Andrea Dovizioso (Yamaha) 1’57.055
4. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1’57.215
5. Stefan Bradl (Honda) 1’57.250
6. Valentino Rossi (Ducati) 1’57.315
7. Alvaro Bautista (Honda) 1’57.573
8. Ben Spies (Yamaha) 1’57.790
9. Aleix Espargaro (ART) 1’59.185
10. Toni Elias (Ducati) 1’59.228
11. Karel Abraham (Ducati) 1’59.251
12. Randy de Puniet (ART) 1’59.498
13. Michele Pirro (FTR) 1’59.833
14. Yonny Hernandez (BQR) 1’59.886
15. Mattia Pasini (ART) 2’00.258
16. Colin Edwards (Suter) 2’00.296
17. Ivan Silva (BQR) 2’00.773
18. James Ellison (ART) 2’01.137
19. Danillo Petrucci (Ioda) 2’01.625