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FIM MotoGP - Pedrosa Paces Practice At Indy

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INDIANAPOLIS, Aug. 18, 2012: Dani Pedrosa led the opening day of MotoGP practice for the Red Bull Indianapolis GP, turning a top lap of 1 minute, 39.783 seconds on his Repsol Honda on Friday, Aug. 17 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"This afternoon the track was a little better than in the morning, and we were able to improve our lap times quite a lot and also try the hard tires, which worked much better than the soft specification we tried this morning," 2010 Red Bull Indianapolis GP winner Pedrosa said. "As we saw today, the times will keep dropping during the weekend with more rubber on the asphalt, so we have to continue working hard on the bike."

MotoGP qualifying is scheduled for 1:55-2:55 p.m. Saturday on the 16-turn, 2.621-mile MotoGP road course at IMS. Spaniard Pedrosa will try to earn his second pole for this event, as he also started from the top spot in 2009.

American Ben Spies was second quickest overall Friday at 1:40.078 on his Yamaha Factory Racing machine. World Championship points leader and 2009 Red Bull Indianapolis GP winner Jorge Lorenzo was third at 1:40.502 on his Yamaha Factory Racing bike.

Defending Red Bull Indianapolis GP winner Casey Stoner was fifth at 1:40.623 after leading the morning session at 1:41.925.

American Nicky Hayden ended up ninth at 1:41.397 on his Ducati, while fellow U.S. rider Colin Edwards was 18th at 1:43.813 on his NGM Mobile Forward Racing Suter-BMW.

"Some of these corners are really connected, and it's important to get the bike to turn, because if you mess up the first one, the problem gets exaggerated," Hayden said. "We need to understand why we're having this turning issue and hopefully do a good step tomorrow."

American wild-card riders Aaron Yates and Steve Rapp ended up 22nd and 23rd, respectively. Yates' best lap was 1:46.021 on the GPTech BCL, while Rapp's top time was 1:46.619 on the Attack Performance APR. Rapp didn't participate in the faster afternoon practice due to a suspected engine problem.

Toni Elias replaced fellow Spaniard Hector Barbera Friday afternoon and will remain on the Pramac Racing Team Ducati after Barbera crashed in the first practice and suffered three fractured dorsal vertebra. Barbera was admitted to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.

Pol Espargaro, from Spain, led Moto2 practice at 1:43.575 on his Pons 40 HP Tuenti Kalex-Honda. Sandro Cortese, from Germany, paced Moto3 practice at 1:49.307 on his Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM.

PJ Jacobsen won the pole for the first AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series race with a lap of 1:54.984 on his MOB Racing Harley-Davidson XR1200. Jacobsen, from Montgomery, N.Y., was 1.412 seconds quicker than the second-best rider, Kyle Wyman.

On-track action starts at 8:15 a.m. Saturday with an AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 warm-up session. MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 will practice in the morning.

Moto3 qualifying is set from 1-1:40 p.m., followed by MotoGP qualifying from 1:55-2:55 p.m. and Moto3 qualifying from 3:10-3:55 p.m

The first AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series race is scheduled for 4:20 p.m., with riders competing for 10 laps.

Public gates open at 7 a.m.