Aleix Espargaro tested a new engine from Suzuki during free practice but says any improvement in power wasn't immediately clear at Aragon.

Espargaro finished seventh fastest on the GSX-RR with a lap in 1m 48.524s but said his speed was identical to his performance in a test at the Spanish circuit two months ago.

"It is a new engine spec with a new exhaust. The engineers try in Japan and they say more power but in the track I couldn't feel, the speed was exactly the same as in the test two months ago," said Espargaro.

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"It gives us a couple of extra horsepower but I didn't feel... We are always one of the last ones in the top speed classification. We need to work harder."

Espargaro experienced grip problems from the off on Friday and opted not to change the tyre to save the rubber for the remaining sessions.

"Immediately since the beginning I felt very, very bad [with the rear tyre] but it was cold and the track not really grippy.

"So Tom did a good trick again because he decided not to change the tyre and just for me to do laps to understand the track so we can save the tyres for the next sessions.

"I think it was a smart decision because in the afternoon as soon as we start I felt really competitive and aggressive. I think closer than we've been in the last races."

The Spaniard was around two or three tenths faster on the soft option Bridgestone tyre but gained a better feeling from the hard option overall.

"I did two or three tenths better with the soft tyre. I expected a little bit more but the soft tyre is quite aggressive. It's not smooth," he said.

"With the hard tyre I feel really, really good. Especially on the pace. I was able to keep in the '49 and I did a '48 with the rear hard tyre. So not the best feeling with the soft tyre, but care more about the race than qualifying anyway.

"I think because we've tested here [closer to top six]. We didn't need to change the gearbox or adapt the electronics. So this is one of the reasons. I think the test helped us a lot, so it's one of the better Fridays in the last six or seven races."