Had he taken victory in Jerez, Quartararo would have joined Enea Bastianini as the only riders to have won more than once this season, however, Francesco Bagnaia held off the MotoGP champion in fine style to get his 2022 campaign finally off and running

Despite taking nine wins between them in 2021, Quartararo and Bagnaia rarely faced off in a one-on-one duel. 

Granted, the lead never changed hands which was largely down to front tyre pressure rising when following another rider closely - it’s likely Quartararo would have been able to attempt an overtake otherwise - whether it would have been successful or not is another matter altogether. 

What can be expected going forward is that the two title contenders from last year continue to challenge one-another. 

In fact, Quartararo believes their battle could be renewed as early as this weekend.

"The second place in Jerez was a good result, but I would be lying if I said that I didn‘t want to win," added Quartararo ahead of the weekend. "I actually came really close, so I‘m now looking forward to a rematch in Le Mans. 

"I‘m feeling positive about this weekend, but we will see what happens. It‘s been an unpredictable season so far. 

"Anyway, it‘s my home GP, so for sure I will push to the limit and give it my all. Hopefully we'll have nice weather."

Is Le Mans crucial to Franco Morbidelli turning his 2022 MotoGP campaign around? 

While his team-mate is flying high at the top of the championship, Morbidelli is finding life aboard his 2022 M1 Yamaha very difficult. 

Morbidelli has just one top ten result this season which came at Mandalika in treacherous conditions, but the biggest issue for the Italian is the continued pace difference between himself and Quartararo which is becoming ever-more worrisome. It’s not something that was ever this bad while the two were team-mates at Petronas. 

Last week’s Jerez test gave Morbidelli the chance to try new parts, some of which will be on the bike this weekend.

Morbidelli said: "This will be an interesting weekend for us. We have tested quite a lot of things in Jerez, and I‘m curious to see if what we found at the test there will work here too. 

"Actually, I had pretty good lap times towards the end of the race in Jerez, but the issue was that we started from too far back on the grid, so that‘s what we need to work on for this weekend. If we can correct this, I think we can do a good race here in Le Mans."

French Grand Prix a ‘good opportunity’ say Yamaha…

Whether Morbidelli turns his form around or not, Quartararo is without question making the difference for the Japanese manufacturer. 

It’s why Team Director Massimo Meregalli believes Yamaha can challenge Ducati who have won the last two races at Le Mans. 

"This could be another good opportunity for us. For Fabio this is a special event because he arrives at his home race as the current World Champion and the current standings leader. He will use this as an extra boost to keep his persistence," said Meregalli.  

"Franky left Jerez with a lot of confidence because of the feeling he finally found with his bike. He is really looking forward to this GP and to him it's like the real start of the season. 

"Moreover, we might use some settings and items that we were able to try in the Monday Jerez Test with positive feedback. We can't wait to start FP1."