Pedrosa sets pace in first practice session at wet Jerez

Dani Pedrosa topped the timesheets after a tricky first practice session at a wet Jerez circuit for the Spanish Grand Prix.

Steady rain ensured all drivers had to stick to the soft wet tyres throughout the first 45-minute session, with Pedrosa finishing just 0.002 seconds ahead of Cal Crutchlow and Jack Miller a further two tenths back to complete a Honda top-three.

As the dark clouds lingered over a cold Jerez circuit, Jorge Lorenzo set the very early pace from reigning World Champion Marc Marquez and Danilo Petrucci.

Lorenzo was then eclipsed by his Ducati team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, who found an extra half a second on a increasingly slippy track.

Maverick Viñales, a two-time winner so far this season, then had a close shave when being passed by Marquez and Pedrosa, with the latter going on to set a new fastest time – a 1:52.308 – with 15 minutes of the first practice session remaining.

MotoGP rookie Jonas Folger sprung a surprise shortly after, going 0.059s quicker to fly up to P1 for a brief period before the Honda trio, led again by Pedrosa, upped the ante in the closing stages.

The results from the first practice session can be seen below:

1.    Dani Pedrosa    ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V)    1m 51.648s
2.    Cal Crutchlow    GBR LCR Honda (RC213V)    1m 51.650s 0.002s
3.    Jack Miller    AUS Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V)    1m 51.807s 0.159s
4.    Andrea Dovizioso    ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP17)    1m 51.830s 0.182s    
5.    Marc Marquez    ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V)    1m 51.962s 0.314s    
6.    Jonas Folger    GER Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1)*    1m 52.249s 0.601s
7.    Aleix Espargaro    ESP Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP)    1m 52.350s 0.702s
8.    Danilo Petrucci    ITA Octo Pramac Racing (Desmosedici GP17)    1m 52.353s 0.705s
9.    Jorge Lorenzo    ESP Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP17)    1m 52.359s 0.711s
10.    Maverick Viñales    ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1)    1m 52.555s 0.907s
11.    Scott Redding    GBR Octo Pramac Racing (Desmosedici GP16)    1m 52.684s 1.036s
12.    Andrea Iannone    ITA Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)    1m 52.834s 1.186s    
13.    Johann Zarco    FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1)*    1m 52.917s 1.269s
14.    Pol Espargaro    ESP Red Bull KTM Factory Racing (RC16)    1m 53.102s 1.454s
15.    Bradley Smith    GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing (RC16)    1m 53.204s 1.556s
16.    Valentino Rossi    ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1)    1m 53.263s 1.615s
17.    Loris Baz    FRA Reale Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP15)    1m 53.375s 1.727s    
18.    Sam Lowes    GBR Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP)*    1m 53.752s 2.104s
19.    Tito Rabat    ESP Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V)    1m 53.885s 2.237s    
20.    Alvaro Bautista    ESP Pull&Bear Aspar Team (Desmosedici GP16)    1m 54.087s 2.439s    
21.    Takuya Tsuda    JPN Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)    1m 54.316s 2.668s
Hector Barbera    ESP Reale Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP16)    No Time    
Karel Abraham    CZE Pull&Bear Aspar Team (Desmosedici GP15)    No Time