Reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez and Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa have shared fond memories of Nicky Hayden ahead of this weekend's Italian Grand Prix.

The 2006 world champion lost his life as a result of injuries sustained in a road accident, whilst training on his bicycle near Misano, with his death announced on the Monday after Le Mans.

"We were preparing to leave for Montmel? for a one-day test last week when we received the terrible news of Nicky's passing. He was a great rider and an incredible person," Marquez said.

"I remember once, when I was a kid of 15 at the very beginning of my career in the world championship and he was the MotoGP World Champion: We took part in an event together and my English was very poor, so he tried to speak Spanish and he was very funny and easy-going, treating me as if I was his little brother.

"And then we shared the garage last year in Australia and had a great party together after the race.

"Like his amazing family, he had a great passion for motorcycling, and he will always be in our hearts."

While Marquez and Hayden were temporary team-mates last year in Australia, Pedrosa spent his first three seasons in MotoGP alongside the American ace.

"The Mugello weekend will be very emotional," Pedrosa said. "It's tough to lose a friend, especially one who became very close during three seasons as team-mates and over the years afterwards.

"I remember how much Nicky pushed, how hard he tried, never giving up while chasing his dream to win the MotoGP title.

"I also remember when I was suffering with arm-pump in 2015 and I announced I was going to stop with racing for a while after the first GP. He immediately came to see me to understand what was going on and it was him who actually recommended the doctor I had the surgery with.

"He was such a nice person and I'm so sad and sorry especially for his family. We will think of him and feel him close in our hearts when we go on track in Mugello, as we did at the Montmelo test last week."

During the Barcelona test, Marquez and Pedrosa got their first taste of the revised chicane and stiffer Michelin front tyre, to be used from this weekend.

"As for the test, we worked on the bike setup and we especially focused in trying the Michelin front tyre that we'll use starting with the next race in Mugello. With this tyre I experienced less movement on the front, and the feeling was more consistent throughout the lap," Marquez said.

"It remains to understand how it will go for an entire race, but anyway, with my riding style I generally feel better with it and I'm confident that in Mugello it will help me a bit more."

Pedrosa added: "In Catalunya we lapped on the revised layout and worked on the front Michelin tyre we'll have to use from now on. We learn and we made some adjustments to the setup over the day of testing and in the end we could manage and get a better feeling. We confirmed that our base set up is good. We finished the test in a positive way".

Pedrosa is second in the world championship, 17 points behind Maverick Vinales, with Marquez dropping to fourth (-27 points) after falling at Le Mans.

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