The Frenchman managed just ten laps for 19th place in the extended 70-minute morning session after both of his M1s suffered gearbox problems on the straight.

Yamaha engineers also parked team-mate Franco Morbidelli’s machines as a precaution but were fortunately able to solve the issue for the afternoon.

“We lost a lot of time due to an issue related to transmission,” confirmed team director Massimo Meregalli. “The problem was completely fixed for the afternoon session, but it did mean we had a lot of work to catch up on.”

Quartararo helped make up for lost time with 29 laps and, although concerned by the long straights prior to the event, featured as high as second in the closing stages of Practice 2.

The final minutes were complicated by yellow flags but Quartararo emerged with eighth place, half a second from leader Luca Marini (VR46 Ducati).

“The day didn’t start super good,” said Quartararo. “I only completed about nine laps in the morning, so to learn this difficult track in the afternoon was not easy.

“Physically the track is not very tough, it‘s just the heat. I had to get straight into the game, and we achieved our goal of getting straight into Q2, so it was a pretty good day.

“Hopefully we can fight for a spot on the front three rows tomorrow and fight for a great result in the Sprint.”

Meregalli remains confident: “The track conditions will improve every session, and we expect to get stronger as the grip increases, as that plays into our hands.”

Team-mate Morbidelli was left rueing the lack of a tow on his way to 14th place, meaning he will take on the likes of the factory KTMs, Miguel Oliveira and Alex Marquez in Qualifying 1.

“It was very hot out there. Apart from this, it was a good day. I had good speed with used tyres and also in the first time attack. But things didn‘t work out for us later on," he said.

“Many rivals were able to improve. I improved a little, step by step, time attack by time attack, but it was not enough.

“I think I rode alone a bit too much today. I was confident in my own speed and didn‘t get a tow. I think that would have been really helpful to get into the top 10.”