Aleix Espargaro has his sights set on another eye-catching result this weekend at Phillip Island after impressing in the last two rounds of the MotoGP World Championship.

The Gresini Aprilia rider heads to the Australian Grand Prix buoyed by his seventh place finish at Motegi, which came after he claimed a terrific sixth at Misano prior to the onset of the triple-header of flyaway rounds in Japan.

Espargaro has taken heart from encouraging test results at Phillip Island earlier this year and remains intent on finishing off the 2017 season on a high.

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“In the tests at the beginning of the year here on Phillip Island we were competitive and we did a good job. I am coming to Australia to repeat the good weekend we had in Motegi, maybe with a different result in the race,” he said.

“Both the team and I are giving it our all to finish the season well. We have three chances to take home some satisfaction and we will leave no stone unturned.”

Meanwhile, Britain’s Sam Lowes received a much-needed lift as he finished in the points at Motegi in 13th place on the RS-GP and is confident he can improve further this weekend, citing Phillip Island as one of his best circuits.

“The Phillip Island circuit is very Moto2-style – there is only one corner where you have to brake hard, whereas the rest of the track is fast and flowing,” said Lowes.

“It is definitely one of the best tracks for me. I am also optimistic because already in the pre-season tests I felt good here with the RS-GP. After the good result in Japan, I expect to battle for points in Australia as well, hopefully on a dry track.”

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It seems that SL has got to grips with his now unfortunately outdated machine.  The wet is a great equaliser as we all know so his results are encouraging and his teammates is doing well on the most up to date machine so should encourage Aprilia generally, just a pity that SL doesn't get the development hardware and software that AE does as I suspect he'd be able to make better use of it now than earlier in the season, but I guess we'll never know now......

You are correct Salieri, how can you damn a man's performance when he is on inferior machinery. While Smith still has to prove worth on the KTM, he was not on the latest bike when he was outrun by Kallio. I was all down on Smith, but now wonder if they were sandbagging him. Both Aprila and KTM seem like they are stacking the deck in counter productive manners.

Looks like the two above comments were made by butt hurt Brits. Why on earth would a factory go to the trouble of fielding two bikes, just to stuff one of it's riders around? It's illogical. Lowes and Smith haven't cut the cloth, end of story.

Get over yourself @DickieBird - it's a development thing, at least in the case of Aprilia.

Both the Aprilia riders and even the team boss have previously stated on the record that the bike Sam is on is not the same as the bike Aleix is on.

You'll find this information in various articles published between the start of the year and now once you pull your head out of your ar5e long enough to read.

Relax bird dick, if I were KTM I would buy out Smith's contract, stated that last week. At the same time I think he should have the opportunity to run Kallio on the same machinery if they are fighting for the seat.