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Written by Dan Evon, Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

motogp_rossi_sepang Valentino Rossi got a taste of the podium last time out in Motegi, and it seems like the Italian racer is hungry for more. Rossi set the pace today during the first MotoGP free practice session in Malaysia, beating out Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo by more than a tenth of a second.Rossi set a 2’02.724 time around the Sepang track, .11 seconds ahead of Dovizioso. Doviziso had led the session, but couldn’t match Rossi’s quick time around the track. Dovizioso is the sole Repsol Honda rider on the track this weekend, as his teammate Dani Pedrosa watches from the pits with a healing collarbone injury.

With Pedrosa out, Lorenzo could clinch the championship with a finish of ninth or higher. Lorenzo has yet to place below fourth, and is confident that he will walk away with the title this weekend.

Casey Stoner crashed early in the session, but recovered to capture fourth. Stoner has won the last two races, and will be looking to Malaysia to make it three in a row.

Stoner was followed by Alvaro Bautista, Collin Edwards, Marco Melandri, Alex Espargaro, Ben Spies, and Randy de Puniet.

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