Rossi laps 2nd fastest in final Moto GP practice

SEPANG: Italian motorcycling maestro Valentino Rossi showed he was keeping on track to win the MotoGP World Championship in Malaysia after lapping second fastest in the final practice on Saturday.

Rossi, with a lead of 38 points, is hoping to lift the title on Sunday. There are just 50 points left to fight for in the championship.

Rossi, who needs a top-four finish in Sunday's race to secure the 2009 world title, posted a best lap of 2min 01.446sec to make him just a fraction of a second behind Spain's Dani Pedrosa.

Pedrosa dominated the second MotoGP practice session at Sepang, setting the pace with an impressive display with a best lap of 2min 01.427sec.

Pedrosa riding a Honda led the other riders by a tight margin of 0.019sec. He needs a podium finish to maintain his battle for third place in the championship standings with Australian Casey Stoner.

Pedrosa has had a brilliant outing at Sepang with podium finishes in three previous premier class races.

Stoner on a Ducati was third at 0.058sec while Rossi's Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo of Spain was fourth at 0.377sec.