Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez has taken confidence from his performance during the first free practice sessions in Argentina, where the MotoGP World Champion finished third fastest on Friday.

Marquez briefly topped FP2 but in the end slotted in behind Suzuki's Aleix Espargaro and Ducati rider Andrea Iannone, improving his time from FP1 by more than three seconds as he lapped in 1m 39.336s.

The 22-year-old, who won at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in 2014, finished 0.560s down on Espargaro but Marquez feels he is already at a 'good level'.

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"I'm pretty happy today even if the track was not in the best condition. In the first session I was sliding around a lot, but in FP2 it was better. Things are gradually improving and we felt progressively more comfortable," he said.

"I think the key to this weekend will be understanding the evolution of the grip level of the track, and adapting the set-up to the changes. But the important thing is that we were able to go out and ride, and we are already at a good level."

Marquez is currently third in the championship standings following his victory in Austin, five points behind Movistar Yamaha's Valentino Rossi.

His team-mate, Hiroshi Aoyama - standing in for Dani Pedrosa for the second race in succession - was 21st fastest and admitted he had endured a tough day at the office.

"This morning and this afternoon have been difficult for me on the bike. I wasn't able to get a good feeling or feedback on the bike due to the conditions," said the HRC test rider.

"FP2 was a little better and we were able to go faster but the position didn't change that much. It's not the best way to start this first day but we will analyse the data tonight and try to improve tomorrow."