MotoGP: Maverick Vinales tops Valencia test whilst Marc Marquez shines with Ducati

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Maverick Vinales ended the one-day Valencia Test at the top of the timesheets after completing 86 laps onboard the Aprilia RS-GP.

The Spaniard completed more laps than anybody and posted a best lap-time of 1:29.253, enough to pip Brad Binder by 0.028s, whilst Marco Bezzecchi completed the top three a mere 0.065s back.

Of course, all eyes were on Marc Marquez and the six-time MotoGP World Champion did not disappoint. Journalists and photographers swarmed the Gresini Racing Ducati garage awaiting Marquez’s circuit debut onboard the Desmocedici GP23.

Marquez went third on his first seven-lap run, improving to second with a 1:30.222 on lap 20. As he crossed the line to start his 43rd lap, Marquez had gone top of the timesheets with a 1:29.460, improving further to a 1:29.424 on his 46th lap. Marquez would end the day in fourth, 0.171s off top spot.

Raul Fernandez ended his first day onboard the 2023 Aprilia RS-GP in fifth, with Alex Marquez in sixth after trying the GP23 Desmocedici for the first time. Both men raced the previous year’s version of their respective bikes during the 2023 season.

Marc Marquez onboard his new Ducati Desmocedici GP23 at Valencia

Likewise, Fabio Di Giannantonio made his debut onboard the GP23 with his new team, Mooney VR46 Racing Ducati. Enea Bastianini was eighth, whilst Jack Miller and Luca Marini completed the top 10. Marini completed 72 laps on his maiden outing as a Repsol Honda rider.

Reigning champion, and Sunday’s GP winner at Valencia, Pecco Bagnaia was 11th and was left feeling very positive about the GP24 Desmocedici, whilst Fabio Quartararo and Joan Mir were 12th and 13th respectively. Augusto Fernandez and Jorge Martin completed the top 15. The latter crashed twice during the day, once at turn 10 in the morning, and then again at turn six in the afternoon.

New Pramac Racing Ducati teammate Franco Morbidelli was only 0.054s slower than the 2023 runner-up, whilst former Pramac man Johann Zarco was 17th on his first outing with LCR Honda. The Frenchman suffered a crash at turn four in the afternoon.

Next up was MotoGP rookie Pedro Acosta who, like Marc Marquez, had plenty of eyes on him throughout the day. The 2021 Moto3 and 2023 Moto2 World Champion appeared to get to grips with his GASGAS Tech RC16 rather quickly, and was captured sliding the bike through turn 13 on more than one occasion.

Each time he returned to the box, there were multiple members of the Red Bull KTM setup eager to hear what he had to say to his team. The Spaniard ended the day with a best lap-time of 1:30.476 after completing 70 laps.

Alex Rins ended his first day as a Monster Energy Yamaha rider in 19th, with Cal Crutchlow 0.201s further back in 20th. Takaaki Nakagami, Aleix Espargaro, who went home early due to an ongoing injury, and Lorenzo Savadori completed the timesheets.