Pol Espargaro says he is refocusing his sights on a position inside the overall MotoGP top six at Sepang after missing out on the chance of a maiden podium last time out in Australia.

The Tech 3 Yamaha rider crashed whilst running ahead of his team-mate Bradley Smith, with the British rider going on to score a maiden rostrum in third position behind Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo.

Allowing Smith back into the fight for a spot inside the overall top six, Espargaro heads to Malaysia looking for better fortunes, specifixally a result that will keep his team-mate at bay and also allow him to leapfrog brother Aleix for the coveted sixth place.

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"After the unfortunate end to the tricky Phillip Island race, I am looking forward to going to Malaysia, which is a track I have had experience on with a MotoGP bike due to the successful pre season tests. I feel confident as I am a fan of the Sepang International Circuit and I have learnt a lot since the beginning of the year, so I am certain that we can have a competitive finish.

"The heat and humidity will be tough to deal with as always, but it is part of the event and we will have to fight through it. The Yamaha is quick on the Sepang track and it's awesome to ride with a big mixture of fast and slow corners. The battle on Sunday will be a long and challenging one, with the circuit having one of the longest lap distances on the calendar.

"Realistically, I aim to be in the top six this weekend in Sunday's race and I am ready for the fight in front of the fantastic Asian fans before we head back to Europe for the final race in my home county at Valencia."

Espargaro is currently one point adrift of Aleix - who also failed to finish in Australia - and eight points clear of Smith.