Motorcycling: Pedrosa marks new deal with quick celebration

Dani Pedrosa, boosted by signing a new two-year deal with Honda yesterday, continued his superb recent form by topping the practice timesheets during yesterday's running ahead of the inaugural Aragon Grand Prix.

The 24-year-old Spaniard won the last two races in Indianapolis and Misano and he topped the first of yesterday's two sessions near Alcaniz, setting a best time of one minute 50.506 seconds.

The day's second session, added to the schedule, along with a third session this morning, to allow the riders to familiarise themselves with their new surroundings, was washed out by rain with no one able to better their times from the morning.

Casey Stoner, who will partner Pedrosa at Honda next year, set the pace during that session following rain.

Pedrosa's dominance in the morning saw him beat the Ducati of Nicky Hayden into second by a full four tenths of a second, with championship leader Jorge Lorenzo third for Yamaha ahead of the other Ducati of Stoner.

Marco Simoncelli was an excellent fifth on his Gresini Honda, ahead of Valentino Rossi and Hector Barbera, who continues to impress on the Aspar Ducati. Andrea Dovizioso, Colin Edwards and Ben Spies rounded out the top 10. But the wet afternoon session saw Pedrosa struggle badly and he will be hoping that the remainder of the weekend is dry after ending the second 45-minute session way back in 13th place, a full 3.6 seconds off Stoner's pace.

The Australian took advantage of a drying track surface to beat Lorenzo by over half a second in the dying moments.

Hayden, who looked strong throughout both sessions, was third fastest in the damp with Rossi fourth and Marco Melandri fifth on the second Gresini machine.

Lorenzo, who leads Pedrosa by 63 points in the standings, was disappointed at his relative lack of pace in the morning, but was happier with how his M1 handled in the wet.

"We are lacking a bit of grip but I hope we can improve our setting more tomorrow so we can make another step," he said. "Unfortunately it rained this afternoon but it was good to get the chance to try our wet setting and it seems our bike was OK in these bad conditions. It was good to have two practice sessions today; even though the overall amount of time is the same over four days, four separate sessions makes it easier to get to know the circuit and what we need to be fast here."

The new circuit met with almost universal approval from the riders and teams, with Tech 3 Yamaha racer Spies among those enjoying the new challenge.

The Texan said: "I really like the track. It has got some good elevation changes that make it pretty cool and the first couple of corners remind me of Istanbul Park [in Turkey] on the video game. You know it is a fun track when you want to stay out and ride and that's how I felt today.

"I was pleased with progress in the dry this morning and I'm really happy with how it went in the rain."

Japanese motorcycle racer Shoya Tomizawa has been given a posthumous award by fellow Moto2 riders and his racing number 48 has been retired from the championship as a tribute. Tomizawa, 19, died in a crash at this month's San Marino Grand Prix at Misano. Promoters Dorna said in a statement that Moto2 riders had voted unanimously at the Aragon Grand Prix in Spain to award Tomizawa the season's Michel Metraux trophy for the best rider in the category. The trophy will be presented to the rider's family at the Japanese Grand Prix next month.

Suggested Topics
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Administrative Assistant

£60 - £75 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Administrative Assitant Hertford...

Web Application Support Manager

£60000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Reigate...

** Secondary History Teacher Required In Liverpool **

£120 - £165 per day: Randstad Education Liverpool: Job opportunities for Secon...

** Secondary Geography Teacher Required In Liverpool **

£120 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Liverpool: Job opportunities for Secon...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments