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New Champ Marquez Quickest as Valencia Testing Ends

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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.

36 Comments

  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.

  2. Provologna says:

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

    • 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.

      • Crim says:

        I agree. Had JL finished one of the races he didn’t….. but then if the dog hadn’t stopped to poop, he would have caught the rabbit.

        • Tim says:

          Like I said, that’s part of winning championships. If it wasn’t, Pedrosa probably has a couple to titles.

          • Jordi says:

            If Marquez had not crash In Mugelo when he was in second postion at 4 laps to finish ….. If Marquez had not been eliminate for mistake on the board …If, If….

  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.

    • 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.

      • nick j says:

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

        • 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.

  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.

    • Brinskee says:

      We must remember that Hayden is on a NEW BIKE. It’s going to take a while to get things sorted. I agree that 2 seconds down isn’t great, but they’re still developing it.

  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.

    • Brinskee says:

      I can’t wait until CS27 comes roaring back from retirement like MJ did and grab a couple more titles. That would actually be Dorna’s wet dream!

  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.

    • Dave says:

      Huh. When this kid signed on with Tech-3 there were fans who didn’t believe he was qualified to even ride a MotoGP (came from nowhere). Now look at him!

      • motobell says:

        what do you mean look at him?

        the much improved bradley still seems a solid mid fielder at best.. he never looked like he deserved to be on the bike (harsh I know) but reality is that alexis may be faster than him. he is there because he is brit. i am sure many of these guys can be world champion (may be in wsbk) but not in motogp with jorge and marc around.

  7. KentuckyRed says:

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

  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.

    • xlayn says:

      +1 totally true…

    • VLJ says:

      On the same track, the same day. Yep.

      Not going to happen, obviously. Honda has no interest in: 1. Depriving the factory effort of even one minute of development time. 2. Advertising to the world that the customer bikes really aren’t competitive with factory machinery.

  9. joe b says:

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

    • Crim says:

      I believe no, he didn’t have a seamless trans. He had the parts that Crutchlow got mid-season and complained about.

  10. Gary says:

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

    • dino says:

      i thought it was a spy photo of myself, testing a new CRT… but i was #39, not 93.

      my bad.

      (only way Marquez could lean any further is to have his shoulders surgically shortened. if he was only a few inches wider than his neck, he could lean further, and shave a few tenths off his lap times!)

    • Ductec says:

      He is crashing, he just doesn’t fall down… very often.

    • Tim says:

      I’m with you there. I’ve leaned a bike that far a couple of times in my life. The only problem was that I was on my feet when I pulled them back upright, and the bikes had a few new scrapes and scratches, as well as a few broken plastic parts.

    • Tom R says:

      He leans over so far that he has to TUCK IN his elbow. How is it that these guys can occasionally just suspend the laws of physics?

      • Blackcayman says:

        race rubber

      • mickey says:

        Seen other guys leaned over that far…it’s usually followed by scraaaaaape, bang, flip …. ” f*# k! “

      • VLJ says:

        While MM93 gets all the hype for tossing the bike on its ear and dragging his elbow, he’s hardly the first or only guy to do those things. From Lorenzo to Bradl to many a no-name AFM racer, people have been doing it for quite a while now, often without the world-class electronic traction-control aids upon which factory MotoGP stars rely so heavily.

        Point being, yes, it’s very cool, but such lean angles are hardly unique to Marquez.