Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Bradley Smith admitted his frustration after he was knocked off the top of the MotoGP time sheets in Qatar by the Open Yamaha of Aleix Espargaro.

Smith had headed the times for much of the opening day before Spaniard Espargaro posted the quickest lap of 1m 55.386s in the closing stages, 0.253s ahead of the satellite M1.

"Today was a good day. I am happy that the base set-up worked immediately here, which means we did a good job in Sepang and so we didn't have to make many changes," said Smith.

"It was a bit frustrating to be fastest for nearly the whole day, and then getting passed so close to the end, but there are still two days to go.

"The track condition was better than I expected and after an hour the track was in much better shape, which is positive as it means we can have a good test here," he added.

"Tomorrow we will try bike one and bike two and make a few more changes. I am really happy with the setup as it is, but I want to make sure it is the right way, and that's why we need to play with the geometry of the bike a little more.

"I will definitely do the race simulation on the last day, and possibly another one tomorrow too."

Smith's team-mate, Pol Espargaro, was third fastest ahead of Honda pair Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl.