Engine performance has again been labelled as Quartararo’s top priority for next season.

The current design, while better than 2022, is still not strong enough to run high levels of downforce and overtaking the likes of Ducati, Aprilia and KTM remains a major challenge.

The Frenchman acknowledged the prototype 2024 engine ‘felt different’ but struggled to say if it was any better than this year’s design.

“I cannot say right now. I need to test more, but I expected better from this,” Quartararo said.

“The feeling is different. But, like I said, I think I expected more power, more power and yeah... It was a little bit difficult to say something really positive about the engine.

“But we have to stay positive and try to analyse what happened to improve for the Valencia tests.”

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That feedback contrasted with a year ago, when Quartararo got his first taste of this year’s engine, designed with the aid of ex-F1 designer Luca Marmorini.

“In 2022, when I tried the 2023 bike [here], I think it's the first time when I felt the engine was a bit better. But today, I didn't feel,” he said.

Marmorini was watching from the Monster Yamaha pits, had Quartararo spoken to him?

“I talked to Luca before the start, but not after. So now in approximately 2 minutes, I am in the meeting [with him]. So I prefer to come [here] before the meeting!”

Quartararo agreed that the huge grip levels on track today hadn’t helped with the testing of new parts, since the Yamaha naturally performs better in such conditions.

“The biggest thing for us is when the track is high grip, it changes totally our bike. I did ‘31.4 with almost 20 laps on the tyre. And this was my qualifying lap from the weekend,” said the 2021 world champion, who finished the test sixth fastest.

“Of course, the others are much faster than us, but their performance difference from low grip to high grip is much smaller than us. Our pace improved almost one second, 7-8 tenths. And for them it’s not as much.”

Quartararo was also wary that the boost provided by such grip had perhaps led Yamaha astray in the past.

“I think last year we got it wrong in this area. Many bikes are putting down Michelin rubber, and it's a track where you spin a lot so you leave a lot of the tyre. If you go to turn 3 right now, it's black.

“So then you open the throttle, on the race weekend you have to control because it's sliding, but now you can stay wide open and it's fake.”

But it wasn’t all bad news.

Quartararo also tried some new aero under the swingarm, which can be used this season since it is outside the restricted ‘aero body’ zones.

“One of the things that was positive was the ‘spoon’ we tried under the swingarm, so I think this we will have for the next race. And the rest, I think we will try to build some new things for Valencia test.”

Team-mate Franco Morbidelli tried a different chassis but didn’t like it.

Quartararo: 'I have to stay polite'

Quartararo’s current situation is frequently compared with that of fellow former champion Marc Marquez at Honda.

Both champions have been demanding major technical progress after a dire 2023 campaign.

Quartararo has taken just one grand prix podium this season, with Marquez’s only top three finish coming in the season opening Portimao Sprint.

Meanwhile, over 100 points now separates the three European brands - Ducati, KTM and Aprilia - from bottom of the table Yamaha and Honda in the constructors’ standings.

Yamaha’s last MotoGP victory was over a year ago by Quartararo. Marquez has been winless for two seasons, although Alex Rins broke Honda’s drought with a shock victory in COTA this year.

While Marquez is openly teasing a possible switch away from Honda despite a 2024 contract, Quartararo is trying to ‘stay calm’ and 'stay polite'.

“Yamaha believed in me when I arrived to Moto2, and my attitude at the beginning of this year was a little bit more arrogant than what I had to do,” Quartararo said of his reaction to the disappointing form of this year's M1.

“So of course we are in a tough moment, but I have to stay polite.

"We [Yamaha and I] both want the same and of course it's difficult, but I prefer to stay more calm and try to build a better combination with everybody.”

Morbidelli was eighth quickest at a test led by the 2022 Ducati of Luca Marini.