Fabio Quartararo is one of nine riders from last season to debut with a new team at the first of two official MotoGP organised tests in Qatar.

Having effectively swapped seats with Valentino Rossi for 2021, the Frenchman did not enjoy the best of day in what was tough conditions for everyone. 

Quartararo was asked about his first experience as a factory rider, to which he said: "It was a cool day. Actually I'm really happy. I struggled a lot to get used to the M1 again, honestly I think more than half a day, because to switch from the R1 to the M1 I was totally lost.

"At the end I'm happy, because the feeling was great at the end, we made quite a good test. But it feels good to be in the factory team, I like the atmosphere and I think that step by step we will also improve."

Like many of the riders on track, the conditions played a big role in what teams were able to run regarding their programmes for the day. Quartararo was also effected by this, however, Sunday will likely provide a better opportunity for testing crucial parts and getting the feeling he wants. 

The 2019 rookie of the year added: "Well, like you say, we tested the new chassis of our bike, but like I said, it was only half a day really to get back to riding properly with the bike.

"So I can't really say if it's better or not. We have one more day to test really tomorrow, and hopefully I can feel a little bit more the details. But also the lap time was slower and I was not riding at my 100%, so tomorrow we will have a better chance to discover the bike."

Although Quartararo's 2020 championship challenge faded as the season went on, he still had three wins which was the joint most along with his team-mate at the time Franco Morbidelli

Quartararo was not able to elaborate further on if the bike had made steps forward compared to last year, but hopes to find that out on the final day of running.

"At the moment, I said to the team that today was a tough day for me, because to get back to the M1, honestly, it was not easy and to try to say clear comments was difficult," said Quartararo.

"So about the comments I can't really say if it was better or worse, because also we put new tyres in the beginning and I was riding not so great. And until the last laps, my feeling was not so great.

"So I prefer to wait to really say my comments about the new chassis, but at the moment it's difficult to say." 

On the other side of the garage was Maverick Vinales, who like his new team-mate will wait for Sunday to get a better understanding of the new parts. 

Vinales enjoyed his first day back saying: "It's good to be back on track and riding the bike. Today I focused on getting into the rhythm as we didn't try anything specific. So far, the feeling is positive, but it's still very early in the testing process. 

"We will keep working and in the upcoming days we will be riding many more laps to try to be faster."

 

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