The Monster Yamaha rider's confidence wasn’t helped by seeing team-mate Fabio Quartararo fall at high speed, and take down Johann Zarco, on lap 3 of the race.

Aided by more retirements ahead, Morbidelli reached ninth place by lap 19 or 26, where he remained.

“We managed to do a step and we were confident to have a good pace and a good performance for the race,” Morbidelli said. “But unfortunately, in the race the grip was awful and moreover, we had blistering. I think that's a common problem anyway.

“But yeah, I was there with Fabio and I saw immediately that the potential was much less and I just tried to bring the bike home in one piece and not make any mistakes, which was very easy today.”

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The Italian, racing with the new rear seat fins on the back of his M1, added: “Something has changed in this track, because usually the grip is quite decent. This weekend was awful. And then in the race, another step down. And we suffered. We suffered more than anybody else.

“Nakagami gambled with the soft and it paid off [for him] because it didn't drop. So a strange, strange race under the grip point of view. Very strange.”

Morbidelli thus heads into the summer break holding eleventh in the world championship but just two places behind Quartararo, with a best race finish of fourth (Argentina).

The former title runner-up expects to be able to announce his 2024 plans by Silverstone.

“I hope and I think yes, we will know more about my future after this summer break,” he said. “I will tell you in Silverstone, probably.”

According to his manager, Morbidelli’s main goal remains a renewal with Monster Yamaha, but he has also been linked with a possible satellite Ducati seat at VR46 (should a vacancy emerge) or Gresini.