BUZZING
Oct 11

F1: Raikkonen Upbeat On Suzuka Prospects

Kimi Raikkonen chats with media members. (Photo: Getty Images)

Kimi Raikkonen chats with media members. (Photo: Getty Images)

Kimi Raikkonen had an encouraging Friday in Suzuka – despite ending Free Practice Two beached in a gravel trap after a high-speed spin at the Dunlop Curve.

Raikkonen, who crashed on Friday in Korea, had already set the time that secured him fourth place in the session, some 0.350s off pacesetter Sebastian Vettel.

“It’s been better, or more my liking here, at least today, than it’s been the last few races,” he said. “Especially in one lap, so that’s a good thing. Obviously, tomorrow is a new day and it might be a completely different story. But not too bad.”

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Oct 11

MotoGP: Pedrosa Leads Both Friday Practice Sessions At Sepang

Dani Pedrosa heads down a straight during the MotoGP of Malaysia - Free Practice. (Photo: Getty Images)

Dani Pedrosa heads down a straight during the MotoGP of Malaysia – Free Practice. (Photo: MotoGP.com)

Dani Pedrosa was just two tenths of a second off Jorge Lorenzo’s fastest ever lap at Sepang as the Repsol Honda Team rider upped the pace on Friday afternoon. The 2012 winner topped the second practice session from teammate Marc Marquez and Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Cal Crutchlow, with Lorenzo sixth quickest for Yamaha Factory Racing.

As the premier class escaped the rain that did fall at the Sepang International Circuit on Friday, Pedrosa – already fastest in the morning – raised the bar to 2’00.554, half a second quicker than teammate Marquez. Crutchlow made the top three while Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi and GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista filled the void back to Lorenzo, although the reigning World Champion was in fact fifth fastest when taking into account the combined timesheet.

Oct 11

F1: Maria de Villota Found Dead In Seville, Spain

Maria de Villota seen on the grid before this year's Spanish Grand Prix. (Photo: Getty Images)

Maria de Villota seen on the grid before this year’s Spanish Grand Prix. (Photo: Getty Images)

Former Formula One test driver Maria de Villota was found dead in a hotel room in Seville on Friday, and police said it appears she died of natural causes. She was 33.

Spanish police told The Associated Press that De Villota was discovered in the Hotel Sevilla Congresos in the morning, dead “apparently from natural causes.” An autopsy will be carried out.

De Villota was seriously injured last year in a crash during testing for the Marussia F1 team in England, losing her right eye and sustaining serious head injuries that kept her hospitalized for a month.

Oct 11

F1: Vettel In Charge After Second Japanese GP Practice

Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Infiniti Red Bull Racing drives during second practice for the Japanese Grand Prix. (Photo: Getty Images)

Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Infiniti Red Bull Racing drives during second practice for the Japanese Grand Prix. (Photo: Getty Images)

Sebastian Vettel had the fastest time in the second practice for the Japanese Grand Prix on Friday, indicating the German is in good position to clinch his fourth Formula One championship this weekend.

Vettel was 0.168 seconds faster than Red Bull teammate Mark Webber around the Suzuka circuit. Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg was two-tenths of a second off Vettel’s time.