Pol Espargaro is confident he can make some big strides this season with the new 2015 Yamaha after a strong performance on day one of the second Sepang test left him third on the time sheets.

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider set a best time of 2m 00.876s on the YZR-M1 to finish behind Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa, 0.462s off the top.

The 23-year-old is working on working on riding the bike more smoothly and with a few changes to his riding style expects to be 'strong' this season.

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"I am really happy with the progress that we have made today and to finish in third is a great start to this test. We are continuing to work in the right direction and as soon as we started this morning, I knew that we could be quick," said Espargaro.

"The general feeling for today was that it was productive and we focused on trying different electronic settings. The information that we collected will be very useful and furthermore, it was very good to run some laps in the rain as well [following a thunderstorm in the afternoon.]

"This meant that we could work on the wet set-up and I am really pleased with this especially, as there is a definite improvement. The 2015 Yamaha feels great and I know that if I can ride a bit smoother and adjust my riding style slightly, we can be strong," he added.

"There are a few more things which we have to study in order to improve, but we cannot rush everything and we must take it all step by step."