Aleix Espargaro was disappointed not to be closer to the top six after the Suzuki rider finished FP2 in 10th place at Phillip Island.

Espargaro's team-mate and series rookie Maverick Vinales produced one of the standout performances in the afternoon to slot into third on the times on the GSX-RR, but his more experienced counterpart was unable to capitalise on the advantage of the soft rear Bridgestone tyre as he lapped in 1m 30.113s to finish seven tenths off the best time achieved by Marc Marquez on the factory Honda.

"I expected to be a little bit closer; the pace was quite slow, not far, but unfortunately when I put in the soft tyre I didn't have a big, big improvement," said Espargaro.

Related Articles

"We are fine tuning on the fast corners but it's the first day and I think we have a lot of margin to improve.

"In the faster corners, especially when we are using the front brake, we are not able to finish the corner and we are struggling a lot. It is strange because this is [usually] the best thing of the Suzuki and obviously we need to check in FP2," added Espargaro, who is open to riding with the extra soft rear in Sunday's race.

"Last year I raced with the soft tyre and it was okay, but there's not a big difference between one and the other one," he said.

"I think I improved just three tenths and I also changed the front, to the hard front, which gave me a lot of advantages."