Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa experienced a new MotoGP circuit for the first time since 2010, during the opening day of a private Honda/Yamaha test at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
The Spaniard - title runner-up to Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo last year - rode for 59 Tuesday laps, the best of which placed Pedrosa second on the timesheets, 0.428s behind rookie team-mate Marc Marquez.
“It is a new circuit - and a very different one at that. Quite radical,” said Pedrosa. “This makes it important to put in plenty of laps, to get your reference points established: braking markers, gear changes, finding out whether you are best off in second or third gear - things like that.
“It was good to ride a lot of laps today, and also to see how the tyres fared. The track has a lot of tight corners - above all Turn 1 - and there are many chicanes. It's a little twisty in places, but also some long sixth gear straights. I would say it's been very well designed, [but] more for F1.
“The pace and direction changes from section to section, which is a little strange at first. However, after so many laps, you get the hang of the track. Even if the grip levels aren't especially good, the overall feeling is positive."
Testing at Austin continues for the next two days. COTA will host its inaugural MotoGP race in April.