Date : 19/10/2012
Weather : Dry (Wet in afternoon)
Temperature : Air: 30ºC, Ground: 40ºC
Humidity : 67%
Fresh from victory in Motegi last week, the Repsol Honda Team continued to top the time sheets at the Sepang circuit today. Dani Pedrosa took first position recording a best lap time of 2'01.621 with Casey Stoner in second, only 0.152 off Pedrosa with 2'01.773.
It's been a typical first day of free practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix, with high temperatures and humidity in the morning session and sporadic heavy showers arriving in the afternoon which reduced time on track. The Repsol Honda riders didn't complete a flying lap in the afternoon as the track was wet at the beginning but as the session progressed areas began to dry up creating awkward 50/50 conditions.
Anyway, the weekend has started very positive for Dani and Casey, both riding under the current circuit record in the dry conditions set by Stoner in 2007 (2'02.108). The team will be aiming to make the most of tomorrow's last free practice to be ready for a strong qualifying session.
DANI PEDROSA – 1st - 2'01.621
"We've been lucky to have the first practice in the dry to begin setting up the bike for the race because as we've seen in the last few days sooner or later it rains here. The track was a little dirty in the morning and the grip level quite poor, but the lap times were not so bad and the conditions will improve throughout the weekend. In the morning I had a lot of vibration in the rear which we think was a problem with the wheel balance. I did a sighting lap in the afternoon and it was full wet until turn 4 but from there, full dry, so we decided to stay in the pits. We will have to make good use of track time tomorrow morning to prepare the bike for qualifying and the race".
CASEY STONER – 2nd - 2'01.773
"I definitely feel more comfortable here than I did in Japan, I'm not sure if this is time on the bike or the fact that this track isn't quite so demanding on my right leg. The circuit goes to the right a lot, but there aren't so many slow corners that I need to pick the bike up from and I'm getting a better feeling here so the lap times came easier. We still have quite a bit of work to do and I don't think we are anywhere near the pace that we need to be but the first session went very well and hopefully we can continue in this way for the remainder of the weekend".