Fabio Quartararo's difficult end to his title winning season continued at Valencia on Saturday, where the Monster Yamaha rider could only qualify eighth on the grid.

The young Frenchman, who confessed to feeling lost on Friday, looked to bounce back into contention with a close second place to Alex Rins in final practice.

But having warned of chronic overtaking difficulties after starting seventh last weekend in Portimao, Quartararo was left 0.684s from pole position and will again have to try and fight his way through from the third row.

"To be honest, we’re in a bad situation right now," Quartararo admitted. Two years ago I managed a 1m 29s. Last year Franco made a 1m 30.0. But today we’re both 0.7s slower.

"I’m not happy how things went. I’d like to understand why. On braking with the hard front, we are already too soft. It’s tough to understand and I would like to know why we had such a bad feeling today.

"In qualifying we had no front feeling, no support, and the turning was really bad. I made 2 laps in 1 30.6. looking like I was racing for pole. I felt on the limit and for nothing.

"To be honest it’s quite strange and sad to not know what happened. We need to understand as tomorrow will be a long race and I still don’t know why we are that slow."

On the other side of the Monster Yamaha pits, team-mate Franco Morbidelli also had a tough qualifying after a competitive final practice, but knew exactly what his main issue had been.

"It went well until qualifying. I have to say I was a bit dumb. I tried something big for the second run of qualifying," Morbidelli said.

"I changed the swingarm. I went to the carbon swingarm. Just because with my old [2019 Petronas] bike I used to use it, but here with this [2021] bike it has a different affect.

"But I kept believing in it, also for qualifying, but it wasn’t the right move today.

"I needed to adapt to it with the soft tyre and there wasn't enough [time]. The second lap I got a yellow flag and then the third lap I got some people cruising around the track. So that was unfortunate.

"I'm regretting a little bit this testing mindset that I had between FP4 and qualifying.

But this weekend we had a good speed throughout all the practices. That's good."

Since returning to MotoGP action from knee surgery, and joining the factory team in place of Maverick Vinales, Morbidelli revealed he has been starting each weekend with a 'new' setting on the 2021 machine.

"I never start a weekend with a 'new' bike but since I started working with this team every FP1 was a different bike compared to the previous race," he said. "Because we needed to improve and every new bike I tried was a step better, a step better. Then also here in Valencia the bike was a step better compared to Portimao. That was reflected on track.

"For sure this is a track that suits me somehow, because the previous years results we've seen. But also in Portimao I was very fast last year but this year there was no way.

"So this is a great injection of trust, the speed we've showed this weekend. I hope to maintain it also tomorrow in the race.

"I still need to move a bit more on the bike. I need to improve that this winter for sure with the full recovery I'm going to get back on moving a little bit more on the bike as I like.

"But so far it has been a good weekend for us. We've been really fast, really consistent. Apart from qualifying. Let's see tomorrow if I manage to be consistent throughout the whole race. Let's see what I can do tomorrow."

Morbidelli will be starting alongside his mentor Valentino Rossi during the Italian's final race in MotoGP.