The Monster Yamaha rider will take a 30-point lead over new nearest rival Francesco Bagnaia into the Spanish round, with Aleix Espargaro also still in the fight but now 33 from the top.
But while Ducati’s Bagnaia, winner of last year’s event, arrives on the crest of a wave with four wins in a row – and Espargaro has claimed some previous Aprilia bests at the track – Quartararo has finished no better than fifth during his Aragon MotoGP appearances.
“I think the Aragon GP will be the toughest race of the GPs that we have left,” Quartararo said. “But I’m focused. I want to make it a great race.
“I‘ve never done better than a top 5 there [as a MotoGP rookie in 2019]. Hopefully, we can be really strong, do a great race, and be proud of ourselves.”
While Quartararo has lost 61 points to Bagnaia since the Sachsenring, the young Frenchman was quickest at the recent Misano test, where he got to test a prototype 2023 engine, plus a new chassis and aerodynamics.
The engine and aero can’t be used this year, but the chassis is set to be on standby for possible use this weekend.
“After the positive Misano test, our motivation is very high,” said team director Massimo Meregalli. “The atmosphere in the team is great, which is important before the start of the busy final chapters of 2022.
“Traditionally, Aragon is not an easy track for us, but neither is the Spielberg circuit, and Fabio‘s pace was still competitive enough there for second place.
“Franky also knows the Aragon track really well and even secured victory there in 2020 with the satellite [Petronas] Yamaha team.
“We expect a hard-fought race, but we‘re also curious to see what we can achieve this weekend. As always, we will aim for top positions.”
Although he crashed out of both the Red Bull Ring and Misano races, Morbidelli feels he has been edging closer to his team-mate in recent events.
“We have made good steps leading up to the Misano race and also during the test afterwards. We‘ve been on this positive trajectory, but we got unlucky during the race itself,” said the Italian, currently just 19th in the world championship standings.
“This weekend we will try again. I made some great memories in Aragon in 2020 when I won the Teruel GP. We know that the competition is tough out there, but we‘ve already proven that we can get good results at this circuit too.”
After Aragon, MotoGP heads into the unknown with its first races at Motegi, Buriram, Phillip Island and Sepang since 2019.