Aleix Espargaro secured a sensational front row start at the Argentina MotoGP for Suzuki only three rounds into the manufacturer's premier class comeback, but quickly ruled out his prospects of pushing for the podium at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit.

Espargaro lapped in 1m 38.316s but when he pitted to switch to his number one machine after adopting the same three-tyre strategy as pole man Marc Marquez, he thought there had been a 'mistake' when he learned that he was half-a-second down on the Repsol Honda rider.

"I pushed to the best maximum that I can and the second tyre time I did was great and when I stopped in the pit I thought it was a mistake: P2, half a second from Marc?" Espargaro said.

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"So with the third tyre I gave 100 per-cent and I pushed in the limit but it was even worse because I made more mistakes. I'm disappointed for today but really happy because it is race three and for everyone in Suzuki and for me it is good and everyone is happy.

"Even if the bike is slower than the rest we are working really hard to improve everything so I'm really happy and I will try to stay close to the podium tomorrow."

The extra-hard rear tyre is only available to the Factory riders but Espargaro fears his main issue on Sunday will arise from the chatter problems that have dogged him already in Qatar and Austin.

"I don't think Marc is going to give me an extra-hard [tyre]! The hard that we have is the one we are going to use; the problem we have is not about consumption [of the tyre], it spins a little bit but our main problem is that in the first two races after two or three laps the chattering is unbelievable in the right corners, but we have not bad pace in FP4 with the hard tyre and obviously we don't have the pace of Vale, Jorge or Marc, but we are not that far," he said.

"Our objective is not to try to win or get on the podium, just to try to stay in the top six in this race if it is possible and keep improving race by race."