Under the spotlight after his newly-announced Repsol Honda MotoGP deal alongside older brother Marc, the pressure on Alex Marquez ramped-up further when he sent his RCV tumbling through the gravel on only his eighth lap at Tuesday's Valencia test.

Holding his head in his hands as he walked away from what had been a typical Turn 10 fall, losing the front in chilly morning conditions, the reigning Moto2 champion was then forced to sit and stew on his error as HRC mechanics repaired his one and only bike.

A further fall would have been catastrophic for his confidence, but Alex went on to complete 53 laps and, although he remained last on the timesheets, was only 0.040s from HRC test rider Stefan Bradl and 2.710s from pacesetter Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha).

"It’s not the best way to start for sure, I said “Ahh! it cannot be possible!” but in the end it’s a rookie mistake, because turn 10 is critical more in the morning," Alex said of his accident. "Alberto [Puig] said to me, 'you crashed, don’t worry, we are here for that' and the most important thing now is to learn, to find the limits of the bike and to keep growing as a rider. "

The crash "changed a little bit the plan how to work" for the rest of the day, but "the most important thing is that lap by lap, run by run, we improved. I was more under control with the bike and I felt quite good on the bike.

"With these lap times everything feels comfortable. I need to find more the limit and then for sure the problems will come, but at this moment I’m enjoying being on the bike and that’s it.

"I’m just happy, not watching any media and concentrating on my work. It’s a great opportunity for me, I’ll take it and I want to enjoy."

Compared with a Moto2 bike, the power of the carbon brakes had been a major difference "It changed the feeling in my hand compared to the Moto2 ones and I need to still learn how to work on that."

However, the added power of this year's Triumph engine and new Moto2 electronics had been a help.

"Apart from the power that the Triumph engine had, a special thing is also the electronic part that we have now in Moto2 is helping the Moto2 riders to arrive to MotoGP a little bit more ready."

And what is the first thing Alex will ask Marc this evening?

"I will ask him how he saw me on the bike. But I was happy because regarding the position I was feeling comfortable on the bike, it was the most important thing for me," Alex said.

"Now we need to keep working, keep learning, a lot of things to learn, about tyres, about brakes, about electronics."

Alex, based in the vacant LCR pit box this weekend, said that he will join Marc in the Repsol Honda garage at next week's Jerez test.

The 23-year-old also gave further details on his crew: "My team will be the same as Lorenzo’s, with Ramon Aurin as chief mechanic. Everything the same."

Alex also insists he isn't overly concerned by the one-year nature of his contract.

"Okay, it’s a one-year contract but it was an opportunity that I’m taking like a Moto2 champion. It’s a big opportunity to grow up, to be in a really good team that for sure has really good experience will help me a lot. So it's a good opportunity for me and that’s it."

Iker Lecuona, who made an early MotoGP debut during the Valencia race weekend, was quickest of the 2020 rookies in 13th for Tech3 KTM (+1.482s).

Marquez's Moto2 title rival Brad Binder was 21st for the factory KTM team (+2.482s).



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