Bagnaia felt the 33-degree heat combined with 68% humidity and physical nature of the track meant conditions were more extreme than anything experienced in Thailand or Malaysia.

“Never!” Bagnaia told, when asked if he had ever known conditions as hot as this.

“I thought Malaysia and Thailand was already too much, but here it’s very, very demanding. You feel that you're burning, in some parts of the track. On the back straight it’s incredible.”

The factory Ducati star made a slow start to the weekend with 15th in the morning session and was languishing 18th by the closing stages of the afternoon, before leaping into the crucial Q2 top ten with eighth.

“Like from the start of the season, we [have to] work a lot on Friday,” he said. “We managed to improve a lot our situation and finally in the second practice I felt better with used tyres. I was fast like the fastest guys and this was very important.

“In the time attack, I had the chance just to do one lap and it went well. So I'm very happy to be in Qualifying 2 directly because it's not easy to put in a really good lap and it was better to be only be focused on improving our situation tomorrow morning.

“But right now I'm feeling good with the bike and I'm happy with everything.”

Bagnaia starts the 13th round holding a 36-point lead over Pramac Ducati’s Jorge Martin, who was second fastest on Friday behind VR46 Ducati’s Luca Marini.