Marc Marquez finished the two-day Valencia MotoGP test on top as preparations for the 2016 season began in earnest. The test carried extra importance with teams looking to adjust to the tyres from new championship supplier Michelin, as well as a Spec ECU, and crashes were a dominant theme throughout the proceedings.
Marquez wasn’t immune to errors as he explored the limits of his 2016 Honda RC213V on Michelin rubber and that led to a tumble at the final corner on Wednesday afternoon. This had followed a crash at turn three on the opening morning while riding the 2015 machine but the two-time champion was blisteringly quick in between the slip-ups, clocking a 1:31.060.
The stand-out performers of the test were Suzuki with Maverick Vinales finishing a sensational second despite having no previous experience on Michelins. Despite a couple of front-end crashes himself, the 2015 Rookie of the Year ended the test in second place, having actually topped the times with two hours to go, and lapping quicker than he had at any stage in the Valencia Grand Prix weekend.
Dani Pedrosa and Aleix Espargaro followed up their respective teammates in third and fourth while newly-crowned MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo finished fifth, just two tenths off the pace. The Yamahas didn’t appear as comfortable on the Michelins early on but both made progress as the test unfolded with Valentino Rossi climbing to seventh behind Cal Crutchlow, while Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith rounded out the top ten, just behind Andrea Iannone’s Ducati.
Loris Baz and Scott Redding enjoyed their first tastes of Ducati machinery in twelfth and thirteenth, within a second of the ultimate pace, while rookie Tito Rabat brought his metronomic Moto2 style to the premier class, racking up 140 laps on his Marc VDS Honda.
VALENCIA MotoGP TEST (10-11 NOVEMBER) – COMBINED TIMES
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