After finding more and more performance over the weekend in Catalunya last time out, it appears the reigning MotoGP world champion will need to make similar gains based on the results of day-one at Sachsenring.

While he was able to find pace in the final stages of FP2, in other words the qualifying simulations where the Yamaha rider has been strong ever since joining MotoGP in 2019, Quartararo still had no answer for several Ducati riders, including Francesco Bagnaia who set a new all-time lap record, but also main title rival Aleix Espargaro. 

A track where Yamaha has had mixed success, Quartararo’s own record at Sachsenring has been inconsistent after crashing out of eighth place in 2019, before claiming a podium last season.

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But with the championship leader riding at the very top of his game, finding the extra ‘0.4s-0.5s’ that he believes will be needed in order to challenge for the win, can’t be ruled out.

"I feel good, but we‘re still missing some performance," added Quartararo. "I mean, our pace is not too bad, but in the first laps on a new hard tyre I was pretty slow compared to the others, and we need to find a solution to find that 0.4s-0.5s that we‘re missing. 

"When I go out on a new hard tyre, it feels like a used tyre, so that‘s something we need to improve. 

"The feeling is kind of similar to Barcelona. Let‘s see who will and who won‘t improve when the temperatures go up later this weekend. I don‘t think it will be a big issue for us."

Quartararo is not alone as Morbidelli raises his own ‘new tyre’ concerns

Despite a brief show of pace during Friday practice in Barcelona, the Catalan Grand Prix was much of the same for the ‘cool’ Italian as he struggled to make any real progress.

And with the 2020 runner-up already four tenths off Quartararo during today’s combined free practice times, it could be another bleak weekend for Franco Morbidelli who claimed ‘I’m not on that level’ when it comes to improving with a new tyre.  

Morbidelli said: "So, there are some things to improve with the race tyres, but the feeling and the pace weren't bad at all. For sure, to get to the top guys‘ pace we need at least 0.3s-0.4s. 

"But the biggest problem is that I can't improve on a new tyre like others can. 

"Others seem to be able to improve by 1s. I'm not on that level. We are working on understanding the new tyres better to improve on them like we should."

Dovizioso elects for different strategy, ‘base’ better than previous MotoGP races

While struggles seem to be persisting for Morbidelli, it’s a statement that also rings true for Andrea Dovizioso as the ex-Ducati rider’s 2022 season has been nothing short of disappointing.

Dovizioso finished 23rd on combined times - 1.7s down on Bagnaia, however, some of that was due to the Italian not setting a time attack: "Today I did a different strategy than the other riders, as I stayed out with the used tyre until the end, so I didn’t do a single fast lap time in the afternoon. 

"I don’t have the reference with the soft tyre yet, but with the hard tyre, the grip is very low. 

"I’m not that fast, but I think the base is better than some of the other races and after the practices of today, it’s clear, that we have to ride in a different way, because you can’t push at the beginning of the race and do 22.5s, as the tyre drops a lot. 

"It was good to understand and now we’ll try to work in a better way tomorrow."