Pedrosa takes charge in third practice at Brno

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Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa put his final run to good use in the third MotoGP free practice at Brno to top the timesheets to beat team-mate Marc Marquez by three-tenth of a second while top Yamaha honours went to Britain’s Bradley Smith. Smith, who signed a new deal to ride for Monster Yamaha in 2015 earlier this week, set a 1’56.780 to go second behind Marquez by two tenths with seven minutes to but Pedrosa had other ideas, putting in a 1’56.432 and then a 1’56.282 on his final lap. Smith was only fractionally faster than the factory Movistar Yamaha of Jorge Lorenzo in fourth. The former champion set a 1’56.786 on his final flying lap to edge team-mate Valentino Rossi by just 0.005s Andrea Iannone ended as the fastest of the Ducati rider, sitting in seventh place on a 1’56.816, just beating former Moto2 rival Pol Espargaro by 0.009s. Andrea Dovizioso’s early lap 1’56.882 was good enough for third but he slid down the order to eighth on the combined sheets. Aleix Espargaro finished in ninth place with his FP1 best lap while a late lap by Cal Crutchlow saw him bounce into tenth place and automatic qualification for this afternoon second qualifying session. Stefan Bradl, who Crutchlow will replace at LCR Honda next year, and Yonny Hernandez were the fastest of the men who will have to ride in qualifying one but haven’t gone faster than their FP1 times. Britain’s Scott Redding missed out on a Q2 spot while Leon Camier continues to improve his pace. A radical setup change saw him lop a further half-second from yesterday morning’s time to go 19th on a 1’59.593 and be less than three seconds slower than Marquez. Michael Laverty ended in 23rd.