Keep a close eye on Fabio Quartararo during Friday afternoon practice for the Emilia Romagna MotoGP, at Misano.

That'll be when the Petronas Yamaha rider, who relinquished the MotoGP title lead to Andrea Dovizioso after falling in last Sunday's race, says he'll be experimenting with 'things we've never tried before'.

"We have a really good base on the bike [from last weekend]," said Quartararo. "We have some things to try, concerning FP1 and FP2 and then we'll see what we do on Saturday.

"But for me the important practice will be FP2, that will be the most interesting one because we will try some things that we never tried before.

"So FP2 will be fun, I hope in a good way! I hope we will find a good solution."

The Petronas Yamaha star won't pinpoint exactly what difficulties he is battling but did confirm after Tuesday's test he is 'struggling with the engine'.

Yamaha is thought to have reduced some of its engine performance in response to valve failures at the season-opener Jerez events, where Quartararo took a pair of victories.

The young Frenchman has since made reference to "still not being with the full package" and eagerly awaiting "things that we had and we need to have back".

"We have a really good bike. Not feeling exactly like Jerez. Because we still have some problems let's say that we need to manage by ourselves," Quartararo added last weekend, while hoping for 'good news' by Barcelona.

Yet having taken a lower-spec M1 to poles and podiums last season, despite riding with 500rpm less than the other Yamahas until Buriram, Quartararo would seem well placed to cope if peak engine output was his only issue.

So what is the difference in his situation compared to last year?

"The difference is that from the beginning, in Qatar until Valencia, we had one package," Quartararo replied. "In the last part of the season we got the 500revs, we got some improvements, but let's say the pace was always the same from Qatar to Valencia. We never had problems. Never. We worked well with the bike and just adjusted the settings. But no problems on the bike.

"With this [2020 factory spec] bike it's the first time that we faced problems. Unfortunately, I never had these kind of problems in my career and I was like, 'Wow. How can I manage it?' and I think this is why I was struggling a lot in Austria and Brno. Here was a little bit better but we are still struggling in this area that I need to adapt.

"Let's see if we can improve, but yes mainly the difference from this year to last year was that last year we had zero problems all year and this year we have quite some problems."

When asked if he would prefer to be on last year's bike, Quartararo again indicated that the problems had arrived after his dominant Jerez victories, adding weight to the theory that it's related to measures taken by Yamaha in the wake of the engine failures.

"Honestly, it's a shame that we have these problems because I was really strong in Jerez," he said. "But as I said [when asked about last year's bike] on Saturday. It's not a yes or a no. Some bikes have some positives and other bikes have other positives. It's just we need to work more on the 2020 bike to feel very good."

Quartararo's team-mate Franco Morbidelli took his first MotoGP victory at Misano last weekend.

Yamaha then brought new chassis, swingarm and exhaust parts to Tuesday's test. The chassis looks to have been parked, but the swingarm and exhaust could be used during this weekend.

 

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