Yes, Quartararo still had a commanding 30-point advantage over Francesco Bagnaia, however, the Ducati rider has won the last four races and therefore starts the Aragon MotoGP as the favourite to repeat his victory from 12 months ago.
More worrying for Quartararo is that Bagnaia has clawed back over 60 points in those four races, which is why the championship fight remains wide open with six rounds to go.
In need of help from Yamaha, Quartararo will be using the Japanese manufacturer’s new chassis during free practice on Friday, although he won’t be able to use the new and improved 2023 engine which is tied to next season.
“I wish I could put the 2023 engine in for this year but it’s not possible,” said Quartararo. “But we will have the new chassis that I felt was an improvement in some areas and maybe a little bit worse in some [others].
“I think we will give it a try tomorrow. I don’t know whether [it will be] FP1 or FP2. I will try the new chassis and see how it is working, but I’m quite confident.”
Another rider who could be set to use new items is the returning Marc Marquez, who will be in competitive action for the first time in nearly four months.
Honda brought a brand new Kalex swingarm to the Misano test last week, and although Marquez wants to begin FP1 without testing new items, the eight-time world champion has stated it’s available to use should he wish.
“About the different swingarm, it is very different! It’s different and is working in a completely different way,” added Marquez.
“You can understand that it’s a different concept and it’s possible to use here in Aragon, this is what they [Honda] say to me.
“At the moment I don’t want to test because I’m not ready to test anything on the bike before FP1.”
Takaaki Nakagami is another Honda rider who’s expected to debut the Kalex swingarm this weekend after stating it was a big improvement over their current option.