Monster Yamaha's Cal Crutchlow has hailed MotoGP newboy Marc Marquez as the 'best rider in the world at the moment' after the rookie's astonishing showing on day two of testing at Valencia.
The reigning Moto2 World Champion was just one second slower than fastest man Dani Pedrosa on a dry track, after less than 30 laps on board the Honda RC213V and Crutchlow, who broke his hand in the Valencia crash, has tipped him to be giving the premier-class front runners a hard time next season.
"I think he is probably the best rider in the world at the moment. He isn't going to challenge Lorenzo and Pedrosa for the title next year but he will give them a hard time now and again. He is special, there is no doubt about that," said Crutchlow, speaking at Valencia.
"Everybody whinges about him, saying he knocks people off, he hits, he does this, he does that. He doesn't care, within one corner he has forgotten about it. Look how many times he nearly crashed during practice and qualifying, and then his next lap is his fastest.
"If it was anybody else, they would go slower for a couple of laps and then try to build back up. He is fast. He jumped on a MotoGP bike, nearly highsided in a straight line and the next lap was like nothing fazed him.
"But there is no reason that we can't challenge him. He is beatable, everyone is beatable in the world, but once he gets to the top he is going to be staying there."