Pol Espargaro completed day one in a lower position than he had hoped in 11th place, but the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider has taken heart from his lap time.

The MotoGP rookie's best time of 1m 33.690s was 0.3s behind the factory Yamaha of Jorge Lorenzo in third and Espargaro is hopeful he can make further gains on Saturday.

"I am happy with today's performance as although I finished lower than I wanted to be in the standings, I was only 0.3 of a second from the front row and Jorge who was the fastest Yamaha," he said. "Also I am especially pleased with the track improvements.

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"The modifications of the corners definitely helps us to turn better which really adds to the enjoyment of riding this circuit plus the grip levels have obviously improved a lot. I tried the hard compound this morning which was really positive and then later today I rode on the soft.

"At the moment, I am still unsure on the best compound to use but we need to work a little on the rear section of the bike as I am sliding a lot when entering the corner," added Espargaro.

"In addition, I definitely need to work on adjusting my riding style more. Overall, I am happy with my final lap time so tomorrow we will work harder and continue to move forward."