Bradley Smith says he's delighted to have a buffer on Ducati duo of Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso while getting ahead of his fellow Brits and is hoping for a hassle-free race at Silverstone.

The top satellite rider says his bike's limitations compared to the factory Yamahas and Hondas prevented him from challenging higher than sixth but is happy to see the Ducati pair further down the order as well as fending off Scott Redding and Cal Crutchlow during qualifying.

"I knew I wasn't going to hold on to third [from Friday] but at the end of the day I am on the second row so I have to be pleased with that," Smith said. "I stayed ahead of the other two Brits who were looking really menacing especially today so that is good.

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"Being in front of the Ducatis by quite a long way was something I was trying to make sure because their bike is so fast, 6mph the difference between mine and theirs through the speed trap, and they are just killing us down the straights.

"It will be important to get a good start tomorrow and gap them as much as possible otherwise they can destroy your race."

Looking ahead to his home race, Smith feels he is only lacking performance in the second sector but is confident he has a solid base set-up to work from at his home event.

The British rider is seeking his best career result at Silverstone in MotoGP after struggling with technical issues last season. Smiths's best result at his home event in the premier class is a ninth place in his rookie MotoGP season in 2013.

"I am feeling confident on the bike, there are a few things I am trying to improve," Smith said. "I pretty much have sectors one, three and four dialled in but sector two we are still struggling a little bit. We like look at the data tonight and try to find exactly where we are losing.

"I ran the gamble and tried a different shock setting in FP4 and it gives me more grip on older tyres but less grip on the new ones so it is a trade-off. I think the actual lap time and performance will come in that second 14 laps and not the first six so I am trying to think big picture."