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.