Pol Espargaro heads to the midway point of the 2016 season, in Germany this weekend, as the top satellite rider and having equalled his best MotoGP finish with fourth place last time at Assen.

The Sachsenring is the slowest circuit on the calendar and the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider revealed: "It feels a little bit like karting on a MotoGP bike! It is really tight and twisty, plus as there is no long straight, we don't get much of a rest so it's very physically demanding.

"Having said that, we are upbeat because the nature of the Sachsenring suits the Yamaha so I think we can push for a strong showing again. However, I believe that we may see some unexpected results and I'll try hard to be one of those who have a notable performance.

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"We are ready and prepared so I am sure that we can tick off part one of the season in a positive fashion before I fly to Japan to compete in the Suzuka 8 Hours race for the Yamaha Factory Racing Team."

Team-mate Bradley Smith was one of many fallers at the wet Dutch TT, but helped put the disappointment behind him with a ride on a 500cc Yamaha.

"The next stop for us is the German Grand Prix, which is definitely a special one, due to the location of the circuit. This racetrack stands alone because of its tight corners like the Omega and also because we do not really open the throttle fully until the [turn 11] waterfall, which I must say is awesome to ride.

"Last year I managed to get sixth, and honestly, I feel that we have a solid chance of obtaining a good result again with the capabilities of the YZR-M1.

"After Assen, I went to the legendary Spa - Francorchamps circuit with the Tech3 team and Guy Coulon to ride a two-stroke 500cc Yamaha. I really enjoyed the experience and I have to say thanks to the guys for making it happen. Yet, this weekend we are back our usual business with the goal being to score the top independent position."

This weekend could see Tech 3 confirm that Moto2 champion Johann Zarco will complete their all-new 2017 rider line-up.