Rossi Quickest Off The Mark In Japan

Written by Dan Evon, Courtesy of

If Valentino Rossi’s shoulder is still bothering him, he didn’t show it during the first free practice session. Rossi set the pace with a 1’48.174 time that he set on his final lap. Rossi would finish more than two tenths ahead of second place rider, Andrea Dovizioso.Rossi topping the time sheets is great news for fans of the legendary Italian, who have been waiting for Rossi to get back on top, but the big news today came just five minutes into the session when Dani Pedrosa crashed, and cracked his collarbone.

Pedrosa will miss Sunday’s race, and it is likely that he will miss at least one more.

With Pedrosa off the track, Dovizioso was the sole rider for the Respol Honda team. Dovizioso led the session up until the final moments when he was passed up by Rossi.

Behind Dovizioso came season leader Jorge Lorenzo. Lorenzo has a substantial lead in the MotoGP series, and now with Pedrosa out, could be looking at an easy five races to claim the title.

Casey Stoner and Ben Spies completed the top five.

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