Fabio Quartararo joined Factory Yamaha riders Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi in trying some new M1 chassis, electronic and exhaust parts during Tuesday's Misano test.

But while declaring it had been a 'good' and 'really positive' test, the Frenchman - who lost the world championship lead after falling in Sunday's race - also confirmed there was no progress in the area where he needs it most; engine performance.

"It was a really positive test because we had the chance to try many new parts and electronics," said Quartararo, who was ninth on the overall timesheets, 0.8s behind Vinales

"I'm happy because, not my fastest lap actually, but I did a '32.4 with a medium tyre that had done 23 laps. I'm feeling great and we still have some things to try for the race weekend."

With engines sealed, Yamaha engineers are doing their best to find workaround solutions to mitigate a rumoured cut in performance, instigated when valve problems were discovered after the Jerez season opener.

"Unfortunately, no!" Quartararo said of improving the engine performance. "There were totally two different things let's say.

"We are struggling with the engine and partly the chassis and electronics changes were trying to compensate a little bit for the problem we have. But it's nothing that is really improving in [the area] we wish.

"We are doing our best, trying to manage and honestly - of course, I'm not riding the bike so comfortable like in Jerez - but I'm getting used [to it]."

The Petronas rider added: "I think I'm struggling more than the other Yamahas because Maverick, Franco, Vale have much more experience than me in MotoGP. For sure they had some issues, some similar problems [in the past] and actually last year everything was perfect [for me]. We made seven podiums. We didn't have any issues on the bike.

"And now I need to adapt.

"So I was struggling a lot, but riding in a different way - managing the gas, my body position... I can't really explain exactly how I'm doing on the bike, but I'm riding in a different way to Jerez so it's not really easy to adapt. But last weekend we had an unbelievable pace in practice, unfortunately we had a crash in the race, but today again the pace was really good and we will bring it to the next weekend."

The best hope in terms of improving engine output at the test probably came from a huge Bazooka-style exhaust (see below). It made a clear visual and audible impact, but Quartararo felt little else.

"The only real thing that I feel was it was much longer! And much more noisy!" he smiled. "But unfortunately we don't gain in acceleration and top speed. So we decided to make only one run. They checked on the data and saw it was not so great for me. So we decided to go back to the standard exhaust."

The new chassis was less clear cut and may yet be seen again at the upcoming weekend.

"The chassis is still difficult to understand well because my feeling was really similar, so they will need to check exactly whether it improved or not and we will decide if we can use for this weekend," he said.

Quartararo's day began with a test of the proposed helmet radio system, which he feels has clear potential for safety purposes, meaning Race Direction messages, but doesn't want it to be expanded to team-rider communication.

"I tried in the first run but it was a standard headset and on the last lap one side [fell out of his ear]," he said. "I think it's strange to have the radio. We had I think every 20-30s like a robot speaking [test messages from Race Direction], but I hope we will not have communication with the team. The only thing that is positive is for the safety. But I hope they will not go more [to allow communication with team]."

Quartararo's test then ended with the strange sight of three 'Fabios' lining up to get on his M1!

"Wilco [Zeelenberg] came and said 'let's make a joke to the team'. Wilco went first into the box with my helmet and leathers on, then Tom, then me. It was quite funny and some nice images. Of course if we had a bad test I would not do that but I was happy about today so it was fun to do that."

Petronas could have done with a few more Fabios earlier in the day, with team-mate and Sunday's race winner Franco Morbidelli ruled out of the test due to a stomach upset.

 

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