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New Champ Marquez Quickest as Valencia Testing Ends


Newly crowned MotoGP champion Marc Marquez (Honda) set a blistering lap time (essentially identical to the pole lap for last weekend’s race) as testing came to an end in Valencia earlier today.

The big surprise today was Bradley Smith on his Tech 3 Yamaha, who put in the second quickest lap just 3/10′s of a second slower than Marquez. Smith’s lap was nearly identical to the best lap from Jorge Lorenzo set yesterday. Lorenzo and teammate Valentino Rossi did not participate on the third day of the test.

Of interest to American fans was Nicky Hayden’s progress on his Honda RCV1000R, which he shared with teammate Hiroshi Aoyama. Hayden rode in the morning and Aoyama in the afternoon. Team Aspar is waiting for another RCV1000R, so its riders do not have to share.

Hayden was 12th quickest on the day, but improved his lap time considerably, and was within 2 seconds of Marquez’ stunner, and roughly 1-1/2 seconds off the best from Lorenzo. Hayden and his teammate think big improvements will come as they sort out the electronics package on their new machine.

Rookie Pol Espargaro also progressed aboard his Tech 3 Yamaha to post a time less than 1 second off that of the fastest Yamaha ridden by Lorenzo.


  1. KTMRyder says:

    With two riders sharing one bike I think it’s a bit early to say Hayden won’t improve.
    First off you don’t want to be the guy who puts the only bike available on the ground and secondly with two riders any setup is a compromise.
    Will it be able to win races ? I doubt it. Will it be more competitive than a CRT ?
    I sure hope so.

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  2. Provologna says:

    Maybe rename it the MarquezMotoGP till, oh, about 2020?

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    • Tim says:

      If Lorenzo avoids one crash and doesnt suffer the serious injury he repeats this past season. Granted, avoiding crashes is a big part of winning championships, but you can’t always avoid them, especially those caused by others.

      Don’t count out Lorenzo just yet. If not for him I would agree with your comment completely. I expect great battles between these two.

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  3. motobell says:

    Is the RCV1000R a dud? i know it is first test and first ride for hayden, but it does not bode well. It was first test for Alexis and pol too they rocked it – yamaha has under promised and over delivered with their “open” bike.. the rcv1000 was supposedly .3 seconds off and .15 with after tires – may be that only works with stoner on board.

    i believe is just as fast as bautista, bradl and I think he can as fast still as rossi – looks like the a more powerful aprilia art would have been a better option for aspar.

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    • Crim says:

      Aprilia is in disarray. They are in such straights that they have halted production and they lost their main man to Ducati. Honda is a much safer bet.

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      • nick j says:

        where did you hear about aprilia halting production? For street bikes?

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        • nick j says:

          Poor sales and a weak Italian economy has forced Aprilia to place 360 workers on furlough through at least the end of October, bringing a partial halt to production. The affected employees work at Aprilia’s factory in Scorzè‎, Italy; the 300 workers at Aprilia’s other factory in nearby Noale are not affected at this time, though further workers being put on unpaid leave may not be out of the question.

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  4. Vrooom says:

    So Pol Espago is significantly quicker than Hayden despite this being his first test session on a GP bike. That doesn’t bode well for Nicky this coming year. Bradley Smith was blazing on that Tech 3 bike! He’s going to be one to watch.

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  5. Norm G. says:

    behold marc marquez, aka “marcus”, aka marky’s machine, aka baby worl’ champeen, aka THE PEOPLE’S ELBOW…!!!

    with the exodus of melandro, retirement of luke warm capicola, forthcoming 2016 retirement of VR46, death of “heir apparent” MS58, snd the clear NON-acceptance of jay as their deity despite 2 titles (standard spanish society classism this)…

    dorna have their new “construct”.

    commence global STAR-EFF post haste. “Normstadamus” predicts he’s going to live forever, yes… and will have the physiology NOT of an ant as his marketing caricature suggests…? but of wolverine (see entry for adamantium). we’ve seen this movie.

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  6. Crim says:

    So Smith can keep up with Marquez on the bike that Crutchlow complained about…… Things that make you go HHHmmmm…. I predict a long 2014 for Ducati fans.

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  7. KentuckyRed says:

    WOW! Event for MotoGP, Marquez is leaned WAAAY over in that picture. Way cool.

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  8. mickey says:

    Would be cool if Marquez and Pedrosa would set times on the customer bike to set benchmarks for those who will be riding them.

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  9. joe b says:

    So was Bradley Smith using top level Yamaha with a seamless transmission?

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  10. Gary says:

    I love that photo. I can ride exactly like that … in the process of crashing.

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