Whatever he rode at Sepang, the 2019 and then 2020 Yamaha, Fabio Quartararo finished top of the timesheets on all three days.

But the rider with 13 front-row starts during his rookie season already had little to prove in terms of raw speed.

Instead, Quartararo is turning his focus even more to race pace, as he aims to make history as the first satellite Yamaha rider to win a MotoGP during his final season at Petronas before stepping up to the factory squad in 2021.

"Well, honestly my goal has changed a little bit. So not to be always trying to be first in free practice, but just trying to work more on the pace," he said.

"Okay, during this test I was first, but we need to work more on the pace, because we are struggling more in this area… we know in one lap we are fast."

Like a number of riders, Quartararo did a longer run during the final day in Malaysia.

Although emphasising it was during the hottest conditions, it looked like Quartararo's pace lagged behind the likes of Maverick Vinales (Yamaha), Alex Rins (Suzuki), Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia), Joan Mir (Suzuki) and Marc Marquez (Honda).

When asked about tyre degradation with the 2020 Michelin rear, team-mate Franco Morbidelli replied: "I didn't try a long run, neither did Vale. Fabio did, but he had a drop [in grip] so difficult to say."

Quartararo insisted he was happy with the long run, given it was his first with the new bike and they still have plenty of fine-tuning to do.

"We made a long run of twelve laps in the hottest conditions when there was nobody on track and the grip was not the best. We managed to get into the 1m 59s, low 2m 00s, so quite happy about the pace of today.

"Of course we need more kilometres, because it's the first long run that we did with the bike and we need to work with the electronics.

"[We understand the new bike] a little bit more, but I'm not feeling 100% comfortable. It's not really a problem, it's maybe a little bit of everything. The braking area, electronics, the drive, the grip. 

"So we need to understand why, we also need to check the data with the factory and see where they are faster than us.

"But we are working in a really good way, and for sure in Qatar we will make another step forward."

Quartararo spent much of last season with 500rpm less than the other M1s, but will have Factory-Spec bikes equal to Vinales and Valentino Rossi in 2020.

Surprisingly, he was still behind the Monster riders for straight-line performance at Sepang, setting a peak of 323.3km/h (equal with Morbidelli on the A-Spec) on the last day compared with 327.2 for Vinales and 326.2 for Rossi.

"We see with the factory, we are still really far from the top speed, this is something that we need to check in Qatar, if we are the same or not. But I think with this we can already win some tenths [compared to last year].

"I looked at Maverick's race simulation, and the top speed average was really high. And that's something really important for us, to see that the factory bike is this fast on the straight."

Team boss Razlan Razali said: "Although we can’t really look too much at the timings yet, I think psychologically it’s good for the riders to be quick, and for the competitors to see as well. So far everything seems positive: Fabio is doing great on the new bike that he’s had for only two days and Franco is making progress with his bike as well."

Rossi was fifth quickest, Morbidelli 13th and Vinales 18th on the final day - when Vinales set the most impressive of the long runs.

 

 

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