Nicky Hayden believes the arrival of controversial but fast Spaniard Marc Marquez in MotoGP next season will inject fresh excitement and interest into the premier class.
The reigning Moto2 world champion made an impressive MotoGP debut in last week’s weather-hit test in Valencia when he finished just over a second behind new Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa.
Marquez was seventh quickest at the test and he will be back in action in a private three-day session at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia next week.
Marquez finished less than 0.5s behind 2006 world champion Hayden in Valencia, and the American said it was no shock to see the 19-year-old so fast so quickly.
Hayden told MCN: “I don’t think you could have found one guy in this paddock that didn’t think he was going to be fast. It is clear that he is going to be fast and that he is going to be as aggressive as ever.
"He was lighting it up in the first section, which was the main wet section where it was patchy and he knew how much he wanted to risk and it is clear he is very committed and very determined. He is going to be exciting for the sport and everybody is going to tune in and see how he does.”
For a full round-up of the Valencia test, see the November 21 issue of Motor Cycle News.