MotoGP world championship leader Fabio Quartararo had been planning to start thinking tactically about the title after Misano.

But the Monster Yamaha rider, who starts this weekend's COTA round with a 48-point lead over Francesco Bagnaia and only 100 points still available, has now decided to continue pushing all-out for race victories.

That mentality saw him dramatically hunt down race leader Bagnaia in the closing stages of the Misano race, rather than settle for a safe second, albeit with a few close moments as he pushed his M1 to the limit.

"We start the race weekend in Austin with a 48-point advantage, and after this there are three more races, so my mentality stays the same as it was in Misano," Quartararo said.

"Originally my goal was not to think about the championship until the San Marino GP, but I have decided to keep it going. I think that's the right thing for me: to be in the moment and fight for the victory if I can.

"In Misano that nearly gave my mum a heart attack and my dad for sure enjoyed it a lot! I‘ve had this idea already at the beginning of the year that ’no matter if I‘m fighting for the championship or not, I want to win‘.

"That was the case in Misano, and I want it to stay like this."

With Austin dropping from the calendar in 2020, Quartararo's only previous experience of the track on a MotoGP bike was seventh place in his rookie season with Petronas Yamaha.

"We know Fabio wants to keep taking things one race at the time and focus on getting top results, so our goal with him will be another podium finish," said team director Massimo Meregalli.

Although Yamaha have never won on the Marc Marquez dominated track, Valentino Rossi finished a close second to Suzuki's Alex Rins in 2019, after Marquez fell from the lead.

"This circuit's lay-out is a bit tricky, and theoretically it‘s perhaps not the best suited to our bike, but in recent years our team has scored a good number of podiums here," Meregalli added.

On the other side of the Monster garage, new team-mate Franco Morbidelli will be taking part in his second event in factory colours and with the 2021-spec M1.

18th on his comeback from a lengthy knee surgery recovery at Misano, the Italian improved his pace but also suffered several falls during the post-race test.

"I enjoy riding in Austin. It‘s a track that‘s tough and difficult, but I really like it," Morbidelli said. "In 2019, the last time we rode there with MotoGP, I had a good result [fifth for Petronas Yamaha].

"I hope to be there, improve the feeling with the bike, and improve my overall performance. We made a really good step during the Misano Test. I definitely had more feeling already in the final lap on Day 2 than I did in the first few laps on Day 1. This is already positive.

"We are moving forward and are trying to improve as fast as we can."

will be hoping that Morbidelli can at least score points on Sunday, with Ducati Lenovo now just 3 behind in the teams' title.