Espargaro tried out a radically new KTM chassis on Tuesday, finishing eighth on opening day, and had another spec available for Wednesday.
The Spaniard had an early crash with his first new chassis on day two, but then switched to the latest frame and was able to work his way up to second in the order on his third lap time, just a few hundredths behind Marquez’s benchmark performance.
Espargaro eventually dropped to eighth at the end of the test after failing to improve his time, but said it was a “shock” to get Marquez’s time so early.
“I started right away this morning [chassis] like yesterday, all of whom saw the color orange, “said Espargaro.
“Then I accidentally fell in the morning.
“We had some problems with the bike, but at that moment I made a mistake in the corner, where Brad did too [Binder] crashed.
“Then I had to jump on the new chassis because I ran out of motorbikes, with the hard compound at the back, just to get the feeling back and to my surprise, I did 30.6 seconds on my third push lap.
“I was shocked, surprised because we were quickly in second place at the same time as Marquez.
“After a crash with new leathers that made me feel uncomfortable on the bike, everything is so easy.
“We [also] sure had a better pace.
“We were able to take a very good rhythm, [1m]31 lows many times on the session with used tires that we couldn’t get over the weekend.
“[It was better at] Cornering, traction and better than yesterday in stability. “