In a race that saw Francesco Bagnaia claim a fourth win in a row for Ducati, Quartararo failed to feature inside the top four at any stage of a race for the first time since COTA in April.

Unable to make the hoped-for early progress from eighth on the grid, Quartararo and title rival Aleix Espargaro were then gifted two positions by accidents ahead.

Quartararo went on to snatch fifth from the Aprilia rider on lap 6 of 28, but his progress then stagnated and he finished 5.771s from Bagnaia.

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Once again, the reigning champion was in a class of his own in terms of the Yamaha riders with Andrea Dovizioso the next best, in twelfth and 24 seconds behind the Frenchman.

“That was the limit,” Quartararo said. “More than angry, I was really frustrated, because I gave my 100% and could not fight for more.

“Any more than that and I think I would be on the floor… we arrived really on the limit of our bike today.

“There was no problem, that's the thing,” Quartararo explained. “If you check the pace, I had the same pace as practice. I felt quite good on the bike.

“I made a really good race today, but it's only P5 and 5 seconds from the top. So we are not in a great position.

“It all depends on where we start on the grid and if we can overtake or not.”

After passing Espargaro when he ran wide, Quartararo had then closed on the leading quartet, eventually finishing half-a-second behind Luca Marini's VR46 Ducati.

“I saw that Aleix was struggling also on the grip, and I could overtake him. But with the others, I could not even try. So that's something that I'm quite frustrated about, because I cannot try anything and I'm not enjoying as normal.

“One time I went straight on at Turn 10, then I could come back to [catch] Marini, but [I was riding like] I had a knife on the [throat]. And to try and overtake [Marini] was not possible.”

Quartararo will now start the final six rounds with a 30-point advantage over Bagnaia, who has outscored the Monster Yamaha rider by 61 points over the last four races.

“No, I will not say I'm worried [about the championship], but I'm also not calm,” he said. “I have just been more consistent than Pecco, but in the speed we are so slow.”

Espargaro is now 3 points behind Bagnaia, in third overall.

Quartararo is expected to try a prototype version of the 2023 Yamaha as part of his testing activities on Tuesday and Wednesday, before heading for the final European event, at Aragon, and the flyaway rounds.

“Aragon is going to be tough, of course. But then Japan, Thailand, Australia - we have not been there for quite a long time, so hopefully we get a great surprise there,” he said.

Team-mate Franco Morbidelli crashed out of twelfth place on lap 3.