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MotoGP stars return to action

Marc Marquez tops the timesheets after the first day’s testing

JUST two days after the the end of the 2015 season, the stars of MotoGP were back out on track in the first day’s testing ahead of the 2016 campaign.

Kitted out with new machinery and, in some cases, in new teams, the riders returned to the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia for their first shakedown test.

The new season not only sees a new rider join the MotoGP paddock in the shape of Tito Rabat, but also a raft of technical changes aimed at levelling the playing field along with some team line-up changes.

Scott Redding had fun on his new Pramac Ducati, setting a time two tenths quicker than his new teammate Danilo Petrucci and more than half a second quicker than he managed on his Honda at the weekend.

LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow also improved on his race performance, clocking a lap time three tenths quicker than he managed on Sunday.

Bradley Smith registered the eighth-fastest time, just sixth hundredths slower than Tech 3 teammate Pol Espargaro, while Eugene Laverty was 21st on the timesheets as he acclimatised to his new Aspar Ducati following the team’s switch from Honda power.

New kit: Scott Redding enjoyed his first session aboard the Pramac Ducati