Current KTM test rider Pedrosa, one of the few that Marquez sought advice from before deciding to end his eleven-year Repsol Honda career, told MotoGP.com.:
"The first thing we saw was the smile after his first run - that's not good news for the competition!
“Like everyone, I was also here wanting to see him on the bike today and curious about his performance."
Marquez’s instant speed on the Desmosedici prompted factory Ducati team manager Davide Tardozzi to declare he will be in the title top three:
"He's impressive. He already showed what he will do during the year. I think for sure Marc will be one of the top three at the end of the year.”
Marquez went on to feature at the top of the timesheets, on his way to fourth place.
While Marquez will be targeting an end to his two year victory drought in MotoGP next season, Pedrosa’s wild-card plans are still to be confirmed.
Although KTM claimed a new high of second in the MotoGP constructors’ championship this season, behind Ducati, their 51% score of the maximum possible points means they will only be in Ranking C for the new concessions system.
The ‘C’ ranking (which also includes Aprilia) means access to more testing tyres compared to this year, and a doubling of possible wild-card entries from 3 to 6.
That could mean Pedrosa - who delighted the Spanish fans during a wild-card at Jerez, then fought for the podium at Misano this season - is an even busier man. However, his 2024 schedule is not yet clear, with Pol Espargaro arriving to take on some test and wild-card duties.
"We don’t have the plan yet, and also Pol will be in the team,” Pedrosa said. “I hope we can spread some of the wild-cards [between us] at least because it's quite a big job to prepare the wild-card. But it was good this year and I think all the fans enjoyed it.
"This year was important [to do the wild-cards] because of the [race weekend] format change. Now we have to see what our goals are. Just doing a wild-card doesn't make sense. We need something we want to achieve.”
While watching Marquez start a new era at Gresini, Pedrosa has a more direct role in assisting Spain’s next rising star, Pedro Acosta, who made his MotoGP debut for the GASGAS Tech3 team at Valencia.
"I had a few words with Pedro [before the test]," Pedrosa said. “I just tried to give him some advice about the tyres, which is the most important thing at the beginning."
Acosta was 18th out of the 23 riders, but only 1.223s from Aprilia test leader Maverick Vinales, after 70 laps on an RC16.