Bradley Smith made encouraging progress at Silverstone as the Tech 3 Yamaha rider sampled the thrills of the British track for the first time on a MotoGP machine.

The championship rookie finished eighth with a time of 2m 03.750 seconds, which left him 0.3s outside the top six.

Smith posted his best laps in FP1 and FP2 on his final laps as the British prospect grew in confidence on the YZR-M1.

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"It was great to ride in front of my home crowd today and the amount of people here was amazing. The British fans have always given me great support and today was no exception," he said.

"It was a positive day because I found a good setting this morning and then it was a case of tweaking it to suit this track.

"For the first time all season I have tried all the tyre options for the front and rear in one day, so we have evaluated a lot and got a clear way to follow for the rest of the weekend."

On his impressions of Silverstone on a full-blown MotoGP racer, Smith said the nature of the circuit offered the perfect opportunity to push the satellite Yamaha to its limits.

"This track is certainly designed for MotoGP. It is so fast and open that you really get to explore the bike's full potential," Smith said.

"I will enjoy riding the YZR-M1 this weekend and as I get faster I am sure it will be even more fun."