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Oct 11

MotoGP: Injured Crutchlow Overcomes Pain To Start Strong

Cal Crutchlow of Great Britain and Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rounds the bend during the MotoGP Of Malaysia - Free Practice. (Photo: Getty Images)

Cal Crutchlow of Great Britain and Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rounds the bend during the MotoGP Of Malaysia – Free Practice. (Photo: Getty Images)

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Cal Crutchlow made a good start to the Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix on Friday, setting the third fastest time on the opening day of practice.

Sixth fastest in typically hot and humid conditions in Friday morning’s opening 45-minute session, Crutchlow was almost a second faster in FP2 to surge up the rankings into the top three behind Spanish duo Dani Pedrosa and World Championship leader Marc Marquez.

Oct 11

MotoGP: Hayden In Shock Over Aprilia Turmoil

Nicky Hayden's MotoGP future may be in doubt after a shakeup at Aprilia. (Photo: Getty Images)

Nicky Hayden’s MotoGP future may be in doubt after a shakeup at Aprilia. (Photo: Getty Images)

Shocked American rider Nicky Hayden has had his plans to race an Aprilia in next year’s MotoGP world championship turned upside down and he may now make a surprise switch to Honda.

The uncertainty has been created by the sudden defection of acclaimed Aprilia race boss Gigi Dall’Igna to Ducati who are desperate to arrest their sad decline.

Ducati only announced the poaching of Dall’Igna yesterday.

Hayden was close to inking his Aprilia deal following a visit to their factory last month and a positive meeting with Dall’Igna.

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.