Aleix Espargaro put the new Suzuki GSX-RR into a stunning third place in FP1 in Qatar with an impressive ride at Losail.

Espargaro clocked a lap in 1m 55.685s using the extra soft rear tyre available to Open class riders, which was 0.404s behind Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez and 0.013s ahead of Jorge Lorenzo on the Movistar Yamaha in fourth.

"It's been a positive day. I found a lot of confidence with the hard tyre but I'm very satisfied with my single lap with a soft one, since I'm up with the top riders," said Espargaro.

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"We wanted to recover some of the time we lost in the last test here in Qatar so we focused on finalising traction control and electronics.

"We had very important feedback that gives us many indications for the work we need to do next," he added. "Tomorrow I need to try a long run to evaluate the situation in terms of race-pace, but for the moment the work plan is going smoothly."

Team-mate and MotoGP rookie Maverick Vinales experienced some small electronics issues as he finished the session in 17th position (1m 56.922s) but the 20-year-old was forced to switch to his number two machine and is confident he can climb the order on Friday.

"The day could have been better but unfortunately we had some issues with the electronics on my number-one bike, so I had to switch to bike two," said Vinales.

"They had different set-ups that we planned to test, but the last one was not so effective so at the end of the day this session has been somewhat wasted. I'm not worried, these are things that happen in racing, we will recover time in tomorrow's sessions and continue to develop the set-up in order to find a good feeling for the race."