Post-season MotoGP testing stepped up a notch at Valencia today as the number of riders on track increased from fourteen yesterday to twenty. Perfect weather conditions allowed them to ride from ten this morning until five in the afternoon without interruption, other than by a red flag at 4pm due to a crash for Michael Laverty. The three fastest times of the day were unsurprisingly set by the three men who finished on the podium on Sunday, Marc Márquez clocking a 1'30.536 followed by Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa.
After Hiroshi Aoyama tested the Aspar Team's new Honda Production Racer yesterday, today was the turn of his new team-mate Nicky Hayden. With poor weather forecast for tomorrow the American did not want to waste a minute of available track time and he threw his leg over the new machine no sooner had pit-lane opened. By around 2pm he had dropped his lap times to 1.32.582 but with his 76th and final lap of the day he went even faster with a 1.32.576.
13th Nicky Hayden 1.32.576 (76 laps)
“It was exciting to get to work with a new team and a new bike. This is a new project and there is a long road ahead but that's what makes it so interesting. I really enjoyed my first contact with the bike. There is a lot to learn and I need to build a relationship with the mechanics but I am really happy with today for a first shakedown. The team has helped me a lot and I had a lot of engineers around me all day. We can see how much work there is to do but the base is solid. We couldn't have had better conditions to ride in today. It would have been nice to finish with some stronger lap times but overall we're happy.”