Marc Marquez has the potential to change the face of MotoGP, reckons Ducati rider Nicky Hayden.
The 2010 125cc champion and last year's Moto2 title-winner has been consistently impressive since stepping up to MotoGP with Honda over the winter. Marquez was near the front in both the group tests at Sepang, and then led every day of Honda and Yamaha's private test at Austin this week.
Hayden said Marquez seemed to have taken to MotoGP even faster than his new rivals anticipated.
"I don't think anybody doubted that he was going to be fast," said the American. "When you are fast, you are fast.
"I would say to be quite this quick and even so consistently quick this early wasn't expected and for some of us riders, we aren't so pumped on it. He is going to be exciting for the sport. He rides very hard and he is very hungry."
Hayden thinks Marquez will immediately be a threat to the established front-runners.
"If he can stay healthy, he is really going to shake things up this season," he said. "He has been very, very impressive and very fast, in a bit of his own style. And he could be a game-changer to MotoGP and all of road racing."