Dovizioso and Morbidelli crossed the finish line 29-seconds behind Gresini Ducati's race winner Enea Bastianini and some 22.5s behind Quartararo, who was again head-and-shoulders clear of the other Yamahas to at least salvage seventh place.

“When you take 29 seconds… It’s hard. It’s difficult. But I don’t have anything new to say. I mean, we know very well why we are not competitive and what I have to do in a different way and why just Fabio is able to do it,” Dovizioso said.

“It’s quite bad because the gap is too big. I’m disappointed and to finish with Frankie is just further confirmation [of the situation] and we can’t be happy. But I can’t say anything different. I mean, the reason has been clear from the beginning and it’s still the same.”

Quartararo is the only Yamaha rider to win a MotoGP race since Maverick Vinales’ victory in the 2021 Qatar season-opener and the only M1 rider to stand on the podium (most recently at Mandalika) since Vinales at Assen last June.

While the spotlight is firmly on Yamaha’s apparent lack of technical development this winter, especially with Quartararo’s top speed pleas appearing to fall on deaf ears, the Frenchman holds fifth in the world championship (-17 points from Bastianini) some ten places higher than Morbidelli (-47 points).

Rookie Darryn Binder is 19th on the A-spec bike, courtesy of his wet weather heroics in Indonesia, with RNF team-mate Dovizioso down in 21st after a best result of just 14th place combined with some technical issues.

The scale of the gap between Quartararo and the other Yamaha riders has drawn comparisons with Honda’s reliance on Marc Marquez for its leading results during the Spaniard’s title-winning seasons.

For Dovizioso - a triple MotoGP title runner-up at Ducati as well as a race winner for Honda and past podium finisher for Tech3 Yamaha - there are two separate ‘stories’, but with low grip a common factor in each.

Andrea Dovizioso: ‘Grip and power’

“It’s grip and power. Especially the grip," Dovizioso explained, when pressed on the exact reasons for his Yamaha struggles. "With this lack of grip you have to ride in a specific way and if you don’t do that you can’t be competitive, with the characteristics of the Yamaha.

“I’ve been repeating this since Misano last year and nothing has changed because the bike doesn’t change and this is the characteristic of the Yamaha now. The bike has a lot of positive things, because the chassis in braking and over the bumps is so good, but as I’ve explained from the first time I jumped on the bike, for some reason the lack of grip is very big.

“It’s not about set-up and we [Dovizioso and Morbidelli] have the same material as Fabio. It’s about the way you have to ride the bike… The range to manage the rear grip is so narrow and so small, and if you don’t ride like [Quartararo] you can’t be that fast.

“If you ride like Fabio you can be faster, but still it’s not enough [for Quartararo] to compete with the others because he’s struggling compared to last year.

“So there are two stories. One story is about how competitive is the Yamaha. And this is the thing Fabio is struggling with, complaining about some power and some grip. The [second] is to be able to be competitive for the characteristic of the Yamaha and now it’s very very difficult.

“In my opinion, the engine doesn’t help but the main point is the grip. 100% it's the grip. You can’t use your way to ride. You have to ride and not use the rear grip on the exit of the corners. And this, in my opinion, is quite unusual. With any bike, it’s quite difficult to ride like this.

'Traction key to Fabio Quartararo's style'

“But Fabio is good at that. His riding style from the beginning, if you study from when he arrived in MotoGP he was competitive, but the DNA of the Yamaha was already like that four years ago.”

Quartararo’s manager Eric Mahe confirmed to that the #20 struggles less with low grip, but added that traction is still an essential part of the young Frenchman’s style.

Interestingly, over at Ducati, Jack Miller also credited a special corner exit technique as a key part of Bastianini's COTA success.

"He’s unreal with the way he puts the throttle down. In some ways, he doesn’t ever use the rear of the bike to turn, which is my big problem. I’m always using the rear of the bike to turn," Miller said.

"He’s able to ride it in a very smooth, consistent way and fast. That’s the tyre management. That’s all down to him. So, I’ll keep studying!"