The eight-time world champion finished the pre-season in 13th place, sandwiched between fellow RCV riders Joan Mir and Alex Rins, with Takaaki Nakagami in 20th.

“I only did one time attack,” said Marquez, whose day was interrupted by a technical issue in the morning, then a Turn 1 fall.

“The lap time was not bad and in T1-2-3 I was very fast. But I lost everything in T4. So for the GP, I need to work on that point.”

After a winter spent jumping between new parts, bikes and radical ideas, the Spaniard finally got the chance to focus on set-up with his preferred bike on Sunday.

However, that package was the same as he had picked at the end of February’s Sepang test, meaning the new ideas and parts for Portugal hadn’t delivered.

Is 2023 Make or BREAK for Yamaha? | Crash MotoGP Podcast EP.79

“Unfortunately, some of the things that Honda expected would work on this track were not working like we expected,” Marquez confirmed. “We were riding today with the same bike, for example, as we finished in Malaysia.”

On the positive side, Marquez was much closer to Ducati test leader and reigning champion Francesco Bagnaia - the rider he named as favourite for the year ahead - during his race simulation.

“It’s true that we changed a bit with the setup, my team organised a good plan and we did a few steps and I was feeling better and better.,” he said. “I was able to work a bit on the rhythm because when you trying different things on every run, things are more difficult.

“My main target today was the long run. Because 12 laps in a row was [important], even to understand my physical condition. And today on that long run, I was in a good rhythm,” added Marquez, whose average lap time was around 0.3-0.4s from the Sprint simulation pace of Bagnaia.

But looking to the season-opening race weekend, to be held at the same track later this month, Marquez felt a podium is farfetched as things currently stand.

“For Portimao, we cannot think about the podium and we cannot think about victory. We need to think about what we have, try to take the best and we will see,” he said.

“Also the conditions will change and the rubber on the track, but if the race was tomorrow we can fight from fifth to tenth I think.”

But that doesn’t mean a rider who has battled back from four arm operations and two eye injuries in recent seasons is about to give up.

“Of course, we need to believe and at the moment everyone has zero points in the standings. After 5-6 races you will understand where you are,” he said.

“But it's true that we need to do a step. We need to keep improving, but you cannot start the season with a negative mentality.

“Try to find the best and if you need to fight for the top five, try to fight for the top five. If you need to fight for the top ten, try to fight for the top ten.

“This will be the key of the season. If you start the season with a negative mentality, it will be a very long season with the 42 races.”