Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Pol Espargaro is ready to embrace a 'very important' season in his career as the Spaniard embarks on his third year in the MotoGP premier class.

Espargaro, ninth in the championship last year, says he is more fired up than ever as he prepares for the first round of 2016, which gets underway with opening free practice at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar on Thursday.

"Finally, the winter is over and we can get back to doing what we love to do best - MotoGP! I am more determined than ever about this year and it will be a very important season for me as a rider," Espargaro said.

"I'm happy to be part of the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team once again and I intend to make everyone proud in 2016 after the difficulties that we had to face last year.

"The winter tests were a bit different this time because we had to adjust to our updated Yamaha YZR-M1 but also get used to the Michelin tyres and the new electronics," he added.

"However, I am feeling confident about all of these aspects after the thorough job the team and I did in February and earlier this month. Although the bike is not quite 100 per-cent, we are close and I am particularly confident of our race set-up this year so I'm sure I can fight to some strong results.

"I will give my all at the first GP to start the season with a positive finish. The time has come and I'm ready for the contest."

Espargaro completed the Qatar test earlier at the beginning of March 11th fastest overall, one place behind the Repsol Honda of Dani Pedrosa and 1.072 seconds behind runaway pacesetter Jorge Lorenzo.