Pol Espargaro was still smarting from his late race crash at Philip Island when he spoke to the media this afternoon at Sepang ahead of Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix.

The reigning Moto2 world champion crashed out of a potential first premier class podium last time out and while the situation with cool tyres in Australia won't happen this weekend in the heat and humidity of Sepang it was clear that losing valuable points in the battle for sixth in the championship was still weighing on the Spaniard's mind.

"I'm not really happy after the last race," he said. "We knew before the race that it could happen and finally it did happen but for sure here we won't have the same problem and the tyre will be warm! Sixth is my main target in the championship and Philip Island wasn't because we could have been sixth if we had finished the race. We lost a lot of points there but we'll try to fight here and it will be difficult because it looks like it will rain."

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Sepang is also an important milestone for Espargaro as it allows him to compare his data from this weekend to how he performed in the pre-season tests.

Having spent six days testing here in the pre-season will be important for allowing Espargaro to come to the circuit and know what to expect from the bike and not have to spend the first session learning the track and how it compares to a Moto2 machine.

"We will come here with a lot more information than at the other tracks because we came here in pre-season so it's the first track that we have some info from myself. I'm quite interested to come here and ride tomorrow because I will know where I am and I can check my improvements over the season or if I've stayed the same. It will be really interesting to compare my data because I want to see what has changed and what we can change to be better."

When asked what he felt he made the biggest improvements on throughout his rookie campaign Espargaro admitted that early in the season he was too aggressive with the bike and needed to calm down to get the most from the package. Learning to do that and use the electronics are two key tasks for any rookie and alongside improvements in his fitness Espargaro is clearly pleased with his progress this year.

"I am riding smoother compared to pre-season when I came here and after seven or eight laps I was really tired because I was fighting with the bike. The first time you come into the MotoGP test after not being on a bike for the winter is hard. Here we'll see the improvements in my physical conditions which will be nice.

"I think that in all conditions I was spinning and not having good grip and when it's hot you spin a lot. In the pre-season we weren't good here because we were spinning a lot and losing speed on the exit of corners so I want to check this and that we are better and can use the Traction Control better."