Pol Espargaro struggled to find his rhythm with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 at Sepang on Thursday following a brilliant effort on the opening day that saw the MotoGP rookie claim third place.

The Moto2 world champion was unable to repeat the trick and dropped to eighth position on the YZR-M1, albeit ahead of team-mate Bradley Smith.

Espargaro admitted that he 'struggled' with the Yamaha more than ever during the second day of the Sepang II test in the humid conditions in Malaysia and suffered a small crash in the afternoon.

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"Today was the day I have struggled the most since riding the Yamaha, and unfortunately it was the first time I did not improve my lap time," said the young Spanish star.

"Plus the track did not improve a lot from yesterday. In the morning it took me a bit of time to find the rhythm. I had a small crash this afternoon, but it was nothing serious and I am not hurt.

"However, we lost a lot of track time because of this. After that, we changed a few details on the bike to improve the handling, but when I tried to improve my time this afternoon, I did not feel comfortable," added Espargaro.

"However, all the Yamahas struggled a little bit so I am not too worried."

Espargaro's fastest lap was 0.988s down on Dani Pedrosa, with team-mate Bradley Smith in 10th place and 1.059s behind the Repsol Honda rider.