Rookie Pol Espargaro had to settle for eleventh on the MotoGP grid for tomorrow's Americas MotoGP.

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider however saw plenty of positives on a day when he was just one tenth of a second slower than Cal Crutchlow in seventh.

When asked by about his performance, the reigning Moto2 champion said:

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"We are eleventh and so more or less in the same situation as Qatar [twelfth] but closer on time. We're 0.1s from seventh so it means that I'm happy, but disappointed with the result. We are close but still so far down the grid.

"It looks like we are improving though and going directly into Q2 shows we are a little bit better. Still though we need to improve and for tomorrow it is disappointing to have so many riders in front. There are five Open riders who used the softer tyre and they will make us a bit slower on the first laps of the race."

Espargaro admitted that improving his confidence under braking would be the key to unlocking more performance from his Yamaha:

"I'm losing a little bit of time everywhere but especially on the brakes. We had a problem on the front under braking that is not normal so we have to improve that. For sure we are not the best bike under braking and that will be our target for tomorrow. The bike is good though but there's still a lot to improve from my riding style.

"Yesterday I did a 2m 05.6 and today 2m 03.9s so you can imagine the difference! We're a little bit better than yesterday but still one second off Marquez and 0.7s from the fastest Yamaha which isn't bad on a long track. The final result is 11th which isn't good but we are 0.7s from the first Yamaha and 0.1s from 7th."

With his team-mate, Bradley Smith, eighth fastest Espargaro commented that the Englishman is on a par with the Factory riders and that he can't compare his performance to Smith's yet:

"Brad is really fast in T1, he is so good through there, but maybe in T4 we are better than him and T2 and T3 we are closer. In T1 he is f**king fast and this morning he was faster than Jorge and Valentino. Right now we can't compare to him because he is so close to Jorge and Vale but maybe we can improve and be closer to them tomorrow."