Marc Marquez issued an interesting reaction to recent speculation linking Casey Stoner to a testing role with HRC, with the current world champion stating “we [Honda] already have a very good test rider” in Stefan Bradl.

Stoner’s departure from Ducati was confirmed earlier this week, and on Friday Repsol Honda team boss Alberto Puig would not deny the factory’s interest in securing the two-time MotoGP world champion’s services.

But Marquez’s reaction to speculation was lukewarm. To work successfully in the role, a test rider needs to test “when the factory wants you.” According to what the 25-year old “heard,” Stoner was unable to do this when he was Honda’s test rider between 2013 and ’15.

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On Thursday Andrea Dovizioso confirmed Stoner had only completed one test for Ducati in 2018 due to surgery he had on an injured shoulder.

“Of course Casey have an incredible talent,” said Marquez. “But if you want to be a test rider you need to test many, many days during a season. And you need to be able when the factory wants you.

“This was not the case [when he was an HRC test rider] from what I heard. Now we have a very good test rider that is Stefan Bradl. So I would like to keep him.”

Commenting on the first day of free practice at Valencia, Marquez said, “Of course here it’s one of the circuits that I enjoy and I’m riding in a good way. But today Valencia circuit has very good drainage and the grip is very good so even though it was rainy conditions the grip was amazing.

“Sometimes we were riding with the elbows in some corners. This makes everything more equal. It was important also to adapt really quick on the different conditions because sometimes you go out and there was less water. Then there was heavy rain on the track.

“So I predict if Sunday is wet, and it looks like [it will], Yamaha and Ducati will be very strong. When they have very good grip they are able to be there and they will be there.

“Today the plan was try all the tyres. We only have soft and medium on the rear. We did many laps on the soft rear tyre. About the quantity, we need to adjust and be very precise because we don’t have a lot of soft tyres.

“So we try the rear, the medium rear. I didn’t like it because there was too much risk. Then I came back to it.”

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