ALCANIZ - Spanish rider Dani Pedrosa continued his fine form by beating out Honda teammate and MotoGP world championship leader Marc Marquez to the fastest time in practice for Sunday's Aragon Grand Prix on Friday.

Pedrosa claimed his first victory of a wide-open season in San Marino two weeks ago, becoming a record eighth different winner in the last eight races in the process. The 30-year-old pipped Marquez by just 0.065sec with a best time of 1min 48.429sec in the second practice session on Friday afternoon.

Britain's Cal Crutchlow was third with Marquez's closest championship rival Valentino Rossi fourth. Defending champion Jorge Lorenzo, who has won in Aragon, Spain for the past two seasons, was only seventh fastest, 0.485sec back.

Italy's Andrea Iannone, winner of the Austrian Grand Prix last month, pulled out of the race after the first practice session citing pain from a micro-fracture in his back when he crashed in practice for the San Marino Grand Prix.

Marquez holds a comfortable 43-point lead over Valentino Rossi with just five races of the season to go. Lorenzo is 18 points further back. The riders have two more practice sessions before qualifying on Saturday.

Iannone pulls out of Aragon Grand Prix: Italian rider Andrea Iannone pulled out of the Aragon MotoGP Grand Prix on Friday due to the lingering affects of a crash suffered in San Marino two weeks ago.

Iannone also failed to make the start of the race in Misano after suffering a micro-fracture in his back in the first free practice session on the Friday before the race. The Ducati rider took part in practice on Friday morning at the Motorland circuit, but pulled out afterwards Ducati confirmed. He will be replaced once more by compatriot Michele Pirro.

Iannone is one of four riders to have landed their first MotoGP win of their careers this season after claiming victory in Austria last month.

Another of the four, Australian Jack Miller, will also miss the race as he continues to recover from injuries suffered in a high-speed crash at the Austrian Grand Prix. His absence makes way for 2006 American world champion Nicky Hayden to return to MotoGP to take his place.