But the 2021 world champion warned the technical progress needed to drag the M1 into contention against Ducati, Aprilia and KTM will require the Japanese giant to cast off its conservative approach to bike design and human resources.

Quartararo admitted it took ten rounds to come to terms with what is on course to be his worst premier-class season, with only one GP podium to date as Yamaha tussles with Honda to try and avoid last in the constructors’ standings.

“It cost half a season or more. Until Silverstone I didn't understand and didn't accept to fight for the kind of positions I'm fighting in right now,” Quartararo said of the difficulty in being patient under such circumstances.

“You fight for the championship three years in a row and then you fight for points, or just to qualify in Q2. Even in my first year, I was in Q1 only once. I know I’ve improved a lot as a rider since then and I know my potential.

“On my mental side, it was crazy how difficult it was. But right now, I accept the way of finishing P7-P8, but it’s hurting me a lot inside.”

A MotoGP Miracle for Pecco Bagnaia 🙏

Despite finally receiving a power boost for this season, Quartararo has found the limit of the latest M1 package to be stubbornly low.

“I feel at one with the bike but just we are too far, the potential of the bike is still super far [off] compared to the others,” he said.

“Because every bike has its limits, but this year you arrive super quick to the limit. Even last year I could go a little bit over the limit, play a little bit, but right now the limit arrives super [early].”

The end result is that Quartararo sits eleventh in the riders’ world championship with just two top-six finishes from the 22 (Sprint and Sunday) races, with Yamaha winless for well over one calendar year.

‘I’m pushing everyone. I believe Yamaha can do it, but…’

With the relentless rate of development by the Europeans leaving the Japanese manufacturers on the ropes, Quartararo admits he has doubts over whether the gap can be bridged for 2024. But insists there have been promising signs.

“Every day, even when I'm not racing, I'm pushing all the engineers, even at home, I send a message to the Project Leader, everyone!” Quartararo said.

“Of course, I'm not feeling super confident [for 2024] because I still haven't tried anything, but I believe Yamaha can do it, but we need to change a little bit our mentality of being [more] aggressive, like the Europeans.

“This is something difficult to change. But step by step I think we are doing it.

“[Before Catalunya] we had a good meeting. In Austria we had a good meeting,” he added. “It's not a massive change but step by step some small changes and a way of talking that you see they understand a little bit more.

“Sometimes [in the past] they said yes, but they said yes to make you happy! Now they are much clearer and this is something that for me is super important. The communication between riders, team and engineers need to be as one.”

‘Toughest situation in Yamaha's history’

The 24-year-old underlined that he doesn’t expect Yamaha to radically transform its way of working overnight.

However, Quartararo is targeting the middle ground as a viable goal as he seeks to help extract Yamaha from the ‘toughest situation’ in the factory’s long grand prix history.

“We cannot change someone from really conservative, to totally crazy! But we are trying to go in the middle and this is something that is going to be a great challenge for Yamaha and for me personally,” he said.

“I won with Yamaha, we are in the toughest situation for Yamaha I think in history, and I want to be back on top with Yamaha.”

‘Why can’t Yamaha be as fast as the Ducati?’

Ex-F1 engine designer Luca Marmorini was brought in as a consultant for the 2023 engine and Quartararo agreed that Yamaha needs to be aggressive in recruiting more key engineers from rival MotoGP factories.

But he added that such staff must also then be given the necessary freedom to deliver.

“Yes, [aggressively hiring rival staff] is something also super important. Step by step they're taking people. But I think they have to let them [European staff] work more. I think for Japanese engineers, they want to keep everything in Japan, but you have to open up a little bit your mind and listen a little bit to everyone,” Quartararo explained.

“And this is something Yamaha is doing. That's why I said that they are opening a little bit their mind, a little bit more like Europeans. And it's going to be a key for next year and the future, because why can’t Yamaha be as fast as the Ducati?

“Yamaha is one of the biggest motorcycle brands and I know they can do it. But the mentality must change, must be more aggressive. I'm not an engineer, but I know we have to be much less conservative and play much more with the limits of the rules.”

Engine is the ‘number one’ priority for 2024

With Quartararo’s words in mind, next Monday's official Misano test could be one of the most significant moments in his five-year Yamaha MotoGP career.

The Frenchman will get his first taste of the future M1 during the test and, while six more months of development will be possible before the final 2024 package is largely locked in place at round one, the first impression will be eagerly anticipated.

Quartararo's top priority will be the engine, which received more power for this season but still lags behind the European machines. That also limits the amount of downforce the team can use, without being hammered on the straights.

“Yes. [The engine is] number one,” he said. “Because chassis, if I want tomorrow, I can use a new one. Then in Japan, a new one [again]. Aero you can have one improvement during the year.

“But the engine is [fixed] from the beginning of the season until the end and if you have a big [strong] engine you can play with the aero. If you have no power, you cannot put big wings because on the straight you're slow. So this is the number one thing for me.”

While team-mate Franco Morbidelli feels the extra power for this year's engine came at the expense of ridability, which would help explain why the Yamaha riders sometimes fail to match last year's lap times, Quartararo said it's not been a problem.

“Not really. In the end, the feeling, also the power delivery, you adapt to quite quickly,” he said. “Already from the first test in Misano [2023] I felt [this engine] was a little bit different, but I adapted quite fast and it didn't really change my riding.

“But we make sometimes a small step in front, but another step back with another thing. So at the end we stay more or less in the same place.”

That has particularly been the case with the aerodynamics in recent seasons.

“In 2020, 2021 and last year we didn't use our [in-season] update for the aero,” Quartararo confirmed.

However, the bigger 2023 aero update, which debuted after the summer break at Silverstone, has shown promise.

“The wings are a little bit bigger. It’s the first time we have a little bit more downforce, but on the straight the bike is a little bit slower,” Quartararo said. “So positives and negatives and that's why when you have more power from the engine, you can play much more with these things.

“You have a little bit less wheelie, but it's not something that is totally crazy [difference],” he added. “So it's not something I would say is a massive change or massive improvement. But it’s a first step.”

Quartararo reverted to the older, smaller fairing for last Sunday’s Barcelona race but expects to run the bigger wings at Misano this weekend.

70%-30% bike-rider split

Reflecting on bike-rider balance in modern MotoGP, where the 1000cc prototypes are now adorned with ride-height devices as well as aerodynamics, Quartararo said it’s “totally opposite” to the past.

Asked for a rough number, he replied: “For me 70% [bike]-30% [rider]. Maybe even a little bit more. It's difficult to say.

“But you can clearly see now [rider ranking by machines] with Honda and Yamaha much lower, Ducati more on top. Aprilia and KTM fighting each other. In the past, it was more clearly the rider, rider, rider. But right now, it's like that and we have to accept it.”

Winning feeling ‘lasts until you finish the party!’

Valentino Rossi once said he went racing for the feeling he got for 5-6 hours after winning a MotoGP.

How long does the winning feeling last for Quartararo, winner of 11 races between Jerez 2020 and Sachsenring 2022?

“Until Monday morning, when you finish the party!” he smiled. “So sometimes I go a bit longer [than Rossi].

“Of course, when you win, you make everyone happy – your close friends and family as well as yourself, and this is something that you live for. And when you lose, you see that it's different.

“Fighting for the positions I’m in now is not what I want, but at the end, it’s part of the job also.”

Quartararo - who will have a new team-mate next season when Alex Rins replaces Morbidelli - will be back on track during Friday practice in Misano, a circuit where he finished fifth last season, during an ultimately doomed title defence against Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia.