Pedrosa carries form to Estoril. Fri 11 Apr, 03:25 PM Jerez winner and MotoGP World Championship leader Dani Pedrosa emerged on top of an unpredictable opening day at Estoril, venue for this weekend's Portuguese Grand Prix.
This morning's first free practice had taken place on a track still partially wet from overnight rain and saw a spectacular highside for Valentino Rossi. The Italian was unharmed and went on to finish the session in second place, some 0.699secs behind world champion Casey Stoner, as Bridgestone riders took the top five positions.
With lap times over ten seconds off the ultimate pace, and track conditions continuing to improve, the first session times were rendered irrelevant as the afternoon hour began in fully dry - if blustery - conditions. But the Estoril circuit soon proved itself to be a threat wet or dry, with Stoner falling on his out lap, after losing the front on the exit of the ultra-tight chicane, James Toseland suffering a similar incident and fellow rookie Alex de Angelis being flicked off at much higher speed. Pedrosa, only 16th this morning, put his Repsol Honda on top just before the half way stage of the afternoon session - and returned to P1 in the final minute, after having been replaced at the top by Colin Edwards and then fellow M1 rider Rossi.
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