Rookie MotoGP title leader Marc Marquez laughed at rumours he has already ridden the Laguna Seca circuit during a secret test on a road bike.
The US MotoGP venue is considered one of the toughest to master due to its undulations and blind turns, headlined by the famous Corkscrew corner.
And unlike all the other grand prix circuits, the Moto2 and Moto3 classes do not attend, meaning Marquez has no prior knowledge of the track on any two-wheeled GP machine.
As a result, other rookies - such as Stefan Bradl last year and Bradley Smith this year - have opted to gain experience on a road bike.
Repsol Honda star Marquez admitted such a test was planned, but insisted it never took place and that his first lap of the track will be made in Friday practice. “I thought about that and I tried to come here with a street bike and everything, but in the end it was not possible. So the first time will be with the MotoGP,” confirmed the 20-year-old.
A smiling Marquez, who snatched the title lead with his second victory of the year last Sunday in Germany, added: “But there are some rumours that I came here on a street bike - I don't know, maybe they can show me the pictures!”
Some of Marquez's more experienced rivals then cracked jokes when asked to explain the secrets to going fast at Laguna Seca.
“If he wants to slow down and wait for me, he is welcome to follow me around!” smiled Nicky Hayden, a home winner in 2005 and 2006 with Honda, but no higher than fifth with Ducati.
“I don't think Marc needs any advice. I'm sure it'll be a tough first session - and if he's fastest then we'll know he came here two weeks ago!” commented Tech 3 Yamaha's Cal Crutchlow.
Seven time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi
added: “My advice to Marc is to go very
slow in the first year, try to understand corner-by-corner and then push next year!”
Hayden also gave a more serious evaluation of the challenge facing Marquez: “It is a difficult track for sure, but it's a short track so he will get plenty of laps in during each session. Turn one and the Corkscrew are the hardest because they are so blind. But the rest is pretty easy, because it's kinda narrow there is only one line.
“It is true that down through Rainey Curve there are quite a few bumps to understand. But I don't think Marquez has any problem going fast. Maybe not the first session, but it won't take him long.”