Pol Espargaro pairs with Bradley Smith (not pictured) at Tech3 Yamaha for the 2014 season. (Photo: Getty Images)

pairs with Bradley Smith (not pictured) at Tech3 Yamaha for the 2014 season. (Photo: Getty Images)

Pol Espargaro was delighted to have achieved his main aim of the week at the Sepang Official Test: to avoid crashing. At the same time, the new Monster rider admits that there is still a long way to go.

Espargaro joins Bradley Smith at Tech3 for 2014, stepping up to Herve Poncharal’s team in the premier class as the reigning Moto2 World Champion.

“I am happy because we have achieved our target, which is not to crash – it was not easy,” said Espargaro. “It is not easy to stay on the bike every lap and I made some mistakes. To do the lap time we did is so good; we managed a good rhythm and everybody is happy, so me too.

“We have to improve a lot, a lot, a lot. We have to know more about the electronics, the traction control system, the anti-wheelie and how to carry the mid-corner speed of Lorenzo and Valentino (Rossi). We have a lot to learn and are just starting, but this wasn’t a bad start over these three days so I am happy with the result.”

Espargaro ended the three-day gathering in ninth position with a personal best lap time of 2:00.655 – 1.1 seconds down on pace-setting Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) but just 52 thousandths of a second slower than teammate Smith.

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