2013 Valencia MotoGP Post-Season Practice Tuesday Results
Though the 2013 MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez didn’t participate Monday in the opening day of post-season testing at Valencia, the 20-year-old Spaniard wasted no time getting up to speed Tuesday.
The Honda RC213V pilot was quickest out of the 20 riders, and led almost the entire seven hours of practice. His best time came on his 75th of 76 laps completed; he posted a 1:30.536 at Valencia, which was fastest so far between Sunday’s race (Dani Pedrosa, 1:31.628) and the post-season practice test on Monday (Jorge Lorenzo, 1:31.257).
Marquez, who saved a crash at turn six with his knee and left elbow, spent the entire day comparing the new 2014 RC213V prototype with the one he used throughout his championship-winning year.
Marquez was followed closely by Monday’s leader, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo, who posted a 1:30.768.
These fast times were possible due to new engines and fresh tires, but regardless no other rider was near the two riders who challenged each other all season.
The next closet rider was Marquez’s teammate Dani Pedrosa, who was 0.4 of a second off Marquez’s pass. Pedrosa, like Marquez and Lorenzo, posted his quickest time aboard 2014 machinery.
LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl was fourth quickest, 0.454 of a second back, and GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista was fifth fastest, 0.672 behind.
Next was Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith, who tested a 2014 M1 chassis with a 2013 engine. he finished 0.861 of a second off Marquez’s pace. MotoGP reports that Smith’s team boss Herve Poncharal says his target in the coming year will be to match his departing colleague Cal Crutchlow’s 2013 form.
Factory Yamaha Racing’s Valentino Rossi will look to improve things working with new Crew Chief Silvano Galbusera as winter testing continues, having ended the day seventh, 0.878 of second below the pace, not improving on his Monday time.
The fastest Ducati rider on track was Andrea Dovizioso in eighth place, over a second off Marquez’s pace with his new teammate Crutchlow in 11th, a further 0.3s behind. Dovizioso improved his Monday best, while Crutchlow was a fraction slower than yesterday.
The Ducati Team will introduce their 2014 machines at Sepang in February. The performance of the new bike will also be of interest to Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone who was tenth best on Tuesday overall.
Moto2 champion Pol Espargaro brings talent and enthusiasm to the Tech 3 project. He was delighted to try the YZR-M1 on Monday and on Tuesday he got more accustomed to the bike, improving his pace by 1.351s and getting 66 more laps under his belt.
Further down the timesheet in 13th was Nicky Hayden, riding for the first time with his new team Power Electronics Aspar on the RCV1000R, lapping 2.04s off P1 pace, but 0.444s quicker than new colleague Hiroshi Aoyama went yesterday.
Aleix Espargaro (15th) worked with his new team NGM Mobile Forward Racing and new teammate Colin Edwards (17th), as they both lapped just over two seconds off Marquez’ pace, a decent effort for their first day on the new Yamaha FTR package.
Scott Redding’s left wrist is still healing from his devastating Australia crash and he also took heavy knocks in the pile-up in Japan, so he was only able to lap 22 times on the GO&FUN Honda Gresini RCV1000R.
An additional novelty was Randy de Puniet on the PBM ART machine, also lapping 22 times towards the bottom of the timesheet in a guest appearance for the British based outfit as they look to complete their plans for 2014.
The riders will return to Valencia Wednesday for the final day of post-season MotoGP testing.