Marc Marquez of Spain and Repsol Honda Team  heads down a straight during the MotoGP Tests in Sepang. (Photo: Getty Images)

of Spain and Team has been strong in winter testing. (Photo: Getty Images)

World Champion Marc Marquez continued to impress with a new fast time at the Sepang International Circuit in testing on Thursday morning.

The Repsol Honda rider has been on the pace since testing resumed on Tuesday and he set a ‘new record test time’ at the Malaysian venue early today, taking advantage of relatively cool temperatures to register a rapid 1:59.533 lap as the top riders battled for supremacy.

That pace-setting lap was quicker than the previous best Sepang test time of 1:59.607 set by Casey Stoner in February 2012.

Marquez then went on to undertake an excellent race simulation with 15 consecutive laps under the 2:01 barrier as he worked on fuel economy and gathered further crucial data for the HRC engineers.

Closest to Marquez on the timesheet was nine-time World Champion , setting his own personal best Sepang test time of 1:59.727 as he continued his work with incoming crew chief Silvano Galbusera.

On the other side of the Yamaha Factory garage, Jorge Lorenzo had briefly topped the timesheet, setting a notably quick 1:59.866 best time on just his second lap of the morning.

Also under the two-minute mark was the continually impressive Aleix Espargaro on the ‘Open’ class FTR Yamaha of NGM Mobile Forward Racing, with LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl close behind in fifth.

German rider Bradl fell at turn one, the corner where he fractured his ankle in October’s Grand Prix, but this time escaped unhurt and soon jumped back on his ride to continue his workout.

The majority of riders broke for lunch shortly before 2 p.m. local time as the heat increased, with more race simulations and longer runs expected when they resume this afternoon.

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