Engine performance has been a thorn in Yamaha’s side for several seasons, the factory’s assurances that they will finally address the issue being a crucial factor in convincing Quartararo to re-sign for 2023 and 2024.

Extra staff and resources, including F1 engine designer Luca Marmorini, have been committed to the task and the first signs look promising.

“Today we had three bikes: one was the standard bike, one with a new chassis, and one with the first prototype 2023 engine,” said Quartararo, who set the sixth fastest lap, behind five Ducatis headed by title rival Francesco Bagnaia.

“The first steps with the 2023 bike were good. It works pretty well in the areas of acceleration and top speed, so I'm happy. Considering that this is just the first step, I'm looking forward to the next engine improvement.”

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Quartararo was ranked 11th fastest through the speed trap this afternoon, having been 20th on the top speed charts over the San Marino race weekend.

“I'm happy because for the first time this afternoon I could look on the top speed [chart and see that we were] more up than down the page! So I'm pretty happy.

“This is a good step. It's the first time that we really feel that we made an improvement.

“Now we need more steps. I know that the other steps are not going to be as big as this one, but at least I know that the first step is really good and I think we are in a good way for the future.

“Yamaha are confident that they can improve a bit more, so hopefully they will do it.”

Team-mate Franco Morbidelli agreed with Quartararo’s positive first impression:

“The new engine feels good. It's very nice. It keeps the nice and mellow behaviour of the Yamaha ’on the bottom‘, in the higher gears and high rpms it develops quite a bit of speed.”

The Italian, who crashed out early in Sunday’s race, was 14th fastest on Tuesday.

New chassis at Aragon?

Unfortunately for Quartararo, the MotoGP rules mean he cannot use any of the latest engine upgrades to aid his quest for this year’s crown.

However, with Bagnaia’s four-race win streak taking him to within 30-points of the Frenchman, might the new chassis provide Quartararo with a well needed boost for the remainder of this season?

“The new chassis is working really well,” Quartararo said. “We have to see [if we bring it to Aragon] because I rode faster with the standard chassis, but I like new chassis. So we will have to take a decision about that.

“Of course we will bring the chassis to Aragon, but whether we will use it, I don't know, that will be a question mark. We still have a few days to decide.”

Some new aerodynamics, tried by Morbidelli on Tuesday, will also be on Quartararo’s agenda for Wednesday's final day.