If there was any remaining doubt about what Fabio Quartararo is hoping for when he takes to the track at Sepang tomorrow, the reigning world champion spelt it out once again on the eve of 2022 MotoGP pre-season testing.

"Well, the request I have is easy: I need more top speed!" smiled Quartararo.

The Frenchman was responding to a question on whether the promotion of Takahiro Sumi from Yamaha's MotoGP project leader to General Manager of the Motorsports Development Division back in Japan could aid communication between race team and headquarters.

"We have a really goood atmosphere in the team, but... I don’t need someone that knows me really well to find horsepower!" Quartararo quipped. "For [Sumi] it's a big change and really positive, but I think it will not really change things for us."

While Quartararo has been crystal clear in what he needs from the new M1, he gave away little about how successful – or not – Yamaha's quest might have been: "About the power, we will see tomorrow."

Team director Massimo Meregalli agreed the "main area to improve is top speed" and that Yamaha engineers "really focussed on it by working on the engine, aerodynamics, rear grip and acceleration."

So far, so good.

But Meregalli also tempered expectations by making clear there would be "no revolution" and that "top speed isn't everything".

"Last year anyway we were able to win races on the fastest tracks: Two races in Qatar, Mugello and we fought for the victory in Barcelona before the issues that Fabio had," Meregalli said.

"Top speed is important but it's not everything.

"The Yamaha philosophy is that we didn't make a big revolution, we are always fine tuning and we saw that in the past even a little step on the wrong path made big problems. So we learned [from that] and we are always going step-by-step without any revolution."

Quartararo's team-mate Franco Morbidelli echoed that view: "I expect [the 2022 bike] to be a little bit better than last year's. I've heard from Yamaha that they worked in their style, trying to develop and improve many small details.

"As I saw jumping from the '19 to '21 bike last year, the improvements are small and many. But then when you jump on the bike you feel it. So I hope to have some improvements, by small and many items."

That evolution rather than revolution approach would also fit with the top speeds being recorded by Yamaha test riders at the Shakedown earlier this week, when the M1 remained the slowest on the straight.

Meanwhile, Meregalli admitted Sumi's promotion, which means he will be leaving the race team, "happened so suddenly" but added that Sumi will "attend the GPs until June to integrate Seki-san [new project leader] in this new role.

"I don’t expect any issues about this because Seki has been in our garage since mid-2000s. So he knows very well how things are going."

Aside from overseeing the introduction of this year's M1, Sumi will hope Yamaha can secure the services of Quartararo for 2023 by the time he leaves for the desk job.

"We are always in contact with Fabio's management and we are working to fix this important matter as soon as possible," Meregalli said. "For us, for sure, it's the priority number one and we are quite confident that things are going in the right direction."

Morbidelli already has a contract in place for 2023.

The Sepang test takes place on Saturday and Sunday.