Reigning MotoGP world champion Fabio Quartararo was left frustrated after being unable to unlock the full potential of his M1 Yamaha on day-one of the Qatar GP. 

After missing out on the top ten during FP1, Quartararo was eventually able to sneak a provisional Q2 spot thanks to his eighth place in FP2, however, the six-time race winner in 2021 couldn’t find a way of being ‘comfortable on one lap’ an area that has so often been a strength since joining MotoGP in 2019. 

Quartararo was not helped by a handlebar issue that occurred during one of his time attack efforts: "The system holding the mapping button was not tight. When I pushed to change the map everything went down,” said Quartararo. 

"So I put it back and I could continue because I didn’t need to change more mapping. I feel different and not so comfortable on one lap. 

"In the (pre-season) test I did not feel great but today I was missing something strange. 

"I was fast in the first two sectors but we are missing something and we need to understand why for tomorrow because we are not safe for the Q2. We will need to see for a time attack in the morning."

With the competition looking extremely fast, in particular both Suzuki’s and Marc Marquez, Quartararo will need to find his best performance during Saturday’s qualifying, which in-turn means finding the limit of his 2022 machine, something he felt a long way away from achieving today.

Quartararo continued: "I felt much less on the limit but we are not on our ‘real’ limit. Today was tough because we didn’t understand a few things and we need to check data and with last year to understand what happened. 

"I don’t feel myself properly on the limit but because we struggled. It was a tough day but it was the first day here in Qatar and we normally have a test. 

"Today was tough and the top guys were really fast."