Pol Espargaro reaches the end of his rookie MotoGP season at Valencia this weekend.

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider is seeking to defend a seven point lead over team-mate Bradley Smith to claim sixth in the world championship, as the top satellite rider.

"You always think that you could have done better or improve some races, but this is my rookie year," said the 2013 Moto2 world champion. "My first year in MotoGP is the year to make some mistakes, but this is the last race and we have to finish the race here. If we finish the race we will get sixth position in the championship, the first satellite rider, in front of a lot of riders that have been here for many years.

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"I'm really happy and the team has worked really hard during all the season to try to teach me a little bit more and try to give me this sixth position. I'm really proud of them and looking forward to next year, which starts with the test on Monday."

Asked if there had been any surprises this season, Espargaro replied: "It looked easier when I was in Moto2! I said 'ok, I will be there. I will have to fight but I will be there'.

"To be in some positions is not the hardest work in the world, but if you want to be top five or top six you have to be really smart. Working a lot with the electronics and in Moto2 you don't have electronic systems like anti-wheelie and traction control. In MotoGP you have to do hard work not just on the bike but in the pits with the mechanics."

Espargaro put on hand on top satellite honours after a brave ride sixth place last time at Sepang, despite a broken bone in his foot in practice. "We were unlucky then a little bit lucky in Sepang, because the Ducatis had some problems and there were some crashes ahead in the race."

Espargaro took a best race finish of fourth at Le Mans.