The eve of a potential MotoGP title decider wasn't the ideal time for world championship leader Fabio Quartararo to suffer his worst qualifying in the premier-class.

The Monster Yamaha star had only been off the front-row once this season, a fifth place in Qatar, but will line-up just 15th in Sunday's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

However Saturday in Misano was no ordinary day. Cold but steadily drying conditions after a wet morning, created qualifying conditions that Quartararo (and his M1) 'hates'.

With a 52-point title lead over Francesco Bagnaia to protect, he also admitted to be subconsciously cautious with some of the wet patches, which probably cost him the chance to join the Ducati rider in advancing through Qualifying 1.

"In FP3, I tried everything to be in Q2 straight away, and we finished not so far away, So we made a massive improvement in the full wet. But this afternoon was dry conditions with wet patches on slicks. Exactly what I hate," Quartararo said.

"I didn't take enough risk in the last two sectors. It's something that I can understand [because of the title situation], even if it is on an unconscious side of my thinking.

"If you look at my Sector 1, I'm the second fastest of Q2, even if I was not there. The only sectors where I lose a lot were the last two, where the wet patches were.

"So I'm not so worried about tomorrow [when it should be dry]. Of course it's not the best position, I need to make a great start, try to make great overtakes, and we will see what will happen in the race."

Quartararo was originally classified 15th in qualifying after his best time was removed due to a yellow flag. That lap was then reinstated, moving him to 13th… and then removed again!

"I have no idea if it's P13, P15," he admitted. "But P13 or P15 is the same, so anyway, the position now is done, and that's it."

With Bagnaia, winner of last month's Misano round, qualifying on pole position, Quartararo faces an uphill task to maintain the 50-point title lead he needs to be crowned world champion on Sunday.

"Of course, for me it's a tough situation," he said. "To be honest, I have not thought about the championship, because he is P1 and I'm P13 or P15.

"But he has the pressure, it's not only me. He has the pressure to do well, and maybe he will make a mistake. I don't wish him that, but it's something that we will see.

"But my feeling is that if everything is normal, we will fight [to decided the title next time] in Portimao."

The Frenchman added that he doesn't want to be informed of Bagnaia's position during Sunday's race.

"It's something that will just put more pressure, I think," he said. "My strategy is to push from the beginning. I need to recover the most points as possible, and then we will see what happens.

"I think that our potential in the full dry is good, we will see with which tyre, but I think that it can be a great race tomorrow. Different for sure, because it's the first time that I'm out of the top 12 in qualifying, so we will see."

Quartararo finished a close second to Bagnaia in the previous Misano race, dramatically closing in on the Ducati rider in the final laps.