Bradley Smith will start as the top British rider in his home MotoGP after qualifying in seventh place, 0.764s from pole, at Silverstone.

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider was less than one tenth slower than Factory Yamaha's Valentino Rossi and felt that a small mistake in the final sector cost him a higher grid slot.

"We improved by 1.5s today and obviously some of that is down to the track but some is to set-up changes that we made," said Smith. "We're still struggling in some places but they're all similar corners so should be easy to make a change for tomorrow.

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"I'm really pleased to be able to fight with the Factory Yamahas. I made a slight mistake in the last sector on my best lap, I went to the wrong gear and then missed a gear, so maybe there was 0.1 or 0.2s left today.

"But starting from seventh is better for me because it's on the left hand side of the grid and you can go to the outside of Turn 1 and use the space and then you're on the inside for Turn 2. I'm optimistic that we can get a good start and I had good pace in FP4 today and I stayed out there and was doing consistent low 2m 03s so that was good and I'm ready for a good race tomorrow."

When asked what areas that he was struggling with, Smith commented that corners where you accelerate on the edge of the tyre were proving challenging. However work done overnight had at least improved the balance and handling of his Yamaha over some of the bumps at Silverstone:

"We haven't had a bumpy track like this in a while so the Ohlins guys have been playing with whatever they play with. Today the track had more rubber and there was more temperature going into the tyres so they performed better as well."

A home grand prix provides plenty of extra challenges but Smith, the leading British rider in the World Championship, felt that this weekend has been trouble free due to work by his team to shield him from the pressure:

"I'm the number one British rider in the championship at the minute and there's an expectation with that but nothing more than what I put on myself. The best thing this weekend is that the team has done a great job of keeping everything as calm and light-hearted as possible because they know what pressure brings for a British GP.

"They've created a great atmosphere and had a couple of experienced words in my ear as well and I think that we've done a good job. We've been in this situation a lot but I'm quite confident for tomorrow."