MotoGP rookie Pol Espargaro played down his performance as the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider broke into the top three at the Sepang II test.

Espargaro, the reigning Moto2 World Champion, finished behind Alvaro Bautista and Aleix Espargaro in third position on the first day of the test, lapping in 2m 00.999s to finish 0.151s off the top spot.

Both Espargaro and team-mate Bradley Smith focused on testing the new seamless gearbox on their Yamaha YZF-M1 machines as preparations continue for the opening round of the 2014 season in Qatar on March 23.

"This morning the track was not in the best condition, so we weren't able to start straight away. Near the end of the day the track improved and we managed to get quite a good time," said Espargaro.

"However, we didn't get things wrong, even though I don't think the factory teams pushed to the limit and Marc [Marquez] is also not here, but it's still nice to finish the first day in third position.

"I want to say thank you to Yamaha as today was the first day we could use the new seamless gearbox, and the feeling is just amazing," he added.

"We have a bit more power in every gear and it helps you in many different areas, for example, in the middle of the corner or with the anti-wheelie, it takes a lot of work away from the rider.

"Altogether it has been a really good day today and the feeling with the bike was just great."