A substantial resurfacing, intense cleaning on the rest of the track and revised tyre allocation since the pre-season test are just some of the unknown factors heading into this weekend's first Indonesian MotoGP since 1997.

In the words of Andrea Dovizioso, it's going to be a 'strange race'.

The WithU RNF Yamaha rider was just 19th at the pre-season Mandalika test, but still within 0.830s of the top. He returns after a disappointing opening round in Qatar, where he finished 14th on his debut with the factory-spec M1.

Like factory team riders Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli, Dovizioso suffered tyre pressure issues while following other riders in the Lusail race.

“After a not so easy first round in Qatar, we really aim to do a stronger result in Indonesia and will try to avoid the mistakes we did at the first Grand Prix," Dovizioso said.

"The Mandalika Circuit is a new track for everybody, on top there will be a new asphalt and a new tyre compared to what we had during the test there, so it’s going to be a strange race.

"Anyway, it’s a very nice track, so I’m looking forward to race there!”

Rookie team-mate Darryn Binder, riding the year-old M1, had a much more positive Qatar race.

The South African, who finished last year in Moto3, battled with fellow rookies Remy Gardner, Fabio di Giannantonio and Raul Fernandez for the final premier-class point, losing out to Gardner by just 0.012s.

Unlike Qatar, Binder and the other rookies at least have some prior track knowledge on a MotoGP bike for Mandalika.

“I’m really excited to get to Indonesia now," said Binder. "I definitely enjoyed the test there, so it’s very nice coming to a track, where I have done a couple of laps on a MotoGP bike already. I’m super excited about that!

"I’m quite happy about how things went in Qatar, which makes me even more motivated to get another race under my belt. I’ll just try to pick up where I left off in the race in Qatar, take everything I learned and put it to action.

"I’ll try to have a good weekend in Mandalika and hope the track conditions there are better than during the test.”

With Mandalika top speeds around 40km/h slower than Qatar, the M1 should also face less of a performance disadvantage this weekend.

“Following the test in Mandalika, we have been quite pleased. The track fits our bike pretty good and also both riders like the layout, so this is a nice sign," said team manager Wilco Zeelenberg.

"Of course, we are eager to see how they were able to change the asphalt and how everything will work, so that the riders can actually fight with each other, which was our main issue during the test.

"To come to Indonesia with all the things we need to do - PCR tests, forms and applications - is already a challenge itself.

"It’s an effort, so let’s see how all of that works out, as soon as we arrive, I’m sure, everything will be fine. Anyway, we are looking forward to that second round of 2022!”