A 23-point deficit to Francesco Bagnaia means reigning champion Quartararo must not only win on Sunday but hope that Bagnaia finishes 15th or lower.

Winning is something Quartararo hasn’t done since before the summer break, in Germany, while a Ducati sweep of the front row and podium at Valencia last season underlines the size of the task ahead.

Nevertheless, fresh from finishing the flyaways with a return to the podium in Sepang, Quartararo will fight to the end.

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“We had a good race in Malaysia. I really enjoyed it, and it was nice to be back on the podium again,” said the Monster Yamaha rider.

“Winning the championship will be very difficult now. Of course, I will give my 100% as always, but I‘m not going to stress too much about the championship title.

“It‘s the final GP of the season, and I want to enjoy it and end it with a good result.”

Team director Massimo Meregalli added: “We know that securing the title will be difficult. The only way would be for Fabio to win and for our rival to not score any points.

“It's not an easy task, for sure, but we won't lose hope until the chequered flag comes out! Our fighting spirit remains high, and we will give it our best shot this weekend.”

Quartararo received some welcome support from team-mate Franco Morbidelli at Sepang, the Italian riding shotgun behind him during the early laps before penalties dropped him to eleventh.

But it was still his most competitive weekend of the season, which he is now looking to build on at Valencia, where he won in 2020.

“We had a good weekend overall in Malaysia. It was a shame that the long-lap penalties set me back, because my pace was good,” Morbidelli said. “This has given my crew and me an extra boost for this weekend in Valencia.

“It is not an easy track though, and in fact completely different from Sepang. But we will try our best to keep the positive trajectory going and end the season on a high note.”

“I expect Franky to start this GP on the same level as he finished the previous one,” said Meregalli. “He made a big step in Malaysia: his race pace was strong, but his race result was compromised by the double long-lap penalty. I'm eager to see him battle more towards the front this weekend.”

Quartararo and Morbidelli will try the latest updates for the 2023 Yamaha during the Tuesday post-race test.