Reigning Moto2 world champion Pol Espargaro achieved his aim of improving his pace on each day of the Sepang MotoGP test to set the eighth fastest time on Thursday.

Espargaro's best overall lap on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 M1 of 2m 00.655s put him ahead of team-mate Bradley Smith on the final day, although British rider Smith was the quicker of the pair on the combined team-sheets following his lap on Wednesday of 2m 00.603s.

Spaniard Espargaro, making his MotoGP debut this season, is adopting a 'step by step' mandate and believes the strategy had paid off as he looks towards the second Sepang test later this month.

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"I'm really pleased with how this first test went. I could improve every day by at least four tenths and it's exactly these small steps that we need to do to be prepared for the season," he said.

"My Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team helps me a lot as the feeling with them is already perfect. Nevertheless, I know that there are still numerous things to work on such as my corner speed and my braking.

"I think the braking is one of the toughest things when coming from Moto2 because you don't have any electronic help, like there is in acceleration for example," Espargaro added.

"Anyway, I'm truly happy because after these three days, I know exactly where I need to improve also on my personal preparation and I'm already looking forward to come back to this track in a few weeks."