Cal Crutchlow continued to keep the British flag flying high as the first day of action around Silverstone drew to a close with him comfortably fastest.

The Yamaha Sterilgarda rider was fourth fastest in free practice, but proved substantially faster in Q1 as lap times tumbled across the board.

Indeed, Jonathan Rea's FP1 topping time was usurped within minutes of Q1 starting, with Crutchlow eventually emerging top with a 2mins 05.664secs. The only rider to break into the 2mins 05secs bracket, Crutchlow would achieve the feat on three occasions.

Rea was second fastest, but while he was four tenths adrift of Crutchlow, the Ulsterman led a much tighter leaderboard as those that spent FP1 getting acquainted with the circuit began to post more representative lap times. As such, second down to 15th were covered by a single second this time.

Even so, Troy Corser continued to be the fastest non-Brit in third position on his BMW, the Australian seemingly showing no ill-effects from his accident at Brno three weeks ago.

He was marginally up on Leon Camier, who enjoyed arguably his best Friday this season as he comfortably out-paced championship leading Aprilia team-mate Max Biaggi, Michel Fabrizio and James Toseland.

In Biaggi's defence, however, the Italian was easily the biggest improver between FP1 and Q1 as he sliced three seconds off his best time to jump from 18th to seventh, even if his fastest lap had come after a series of rather more lacklustre ones.

Even so, it did place him just ahead of key title rival Leon Haslam, Carlos Checa and Tom Sykes, who was again impressively up at the front on the Kawasaki.

Outside the top ten, Shane Byrne was 13th fastest, while wild-cards Josh Brookes, Ryuichi Kiyonari and Tommy Bridewell had a difficult session as they featured outside the provisional Superpole qualification positions in 21st, 22nd and 24th.