All was going to plan, with the reigning world champion on pole position heading into the final run.

But Quartararo then found himself rapidly shuffled to fourth place as Johann Zarco (Pramac Ducati), Maverick Vinales (Aprilia) and Jack Miller (Lenovo Ducati) took command of the front row.

“Well, it is what it is. I made one of my best qualifying laps of this year. I feel I have nothing more,” Quartararo said.

“We want to put more power in some parts, but we are already on the maximum. But I feel happy about my pace, also in FP4… I think all of our laps were on 1'59, and this is something really positive.”

Your FAVOURITE British MotoGP races & moments | Crash.net MotoGP

But it is countryman Zarco – still seeking a long overdue debut MotoGP win - that Quartararo tipped as the having the best pace heading into race day.

“Johann has a really strong pace, I think he's the fastest,” Quartararo said. “But I think our pace is to fight for the victory. OK, then with the Long Lap, we don't know what position we will finish…”

Title rival Aleix Espargaro, who returned from a massive final practice fall to join Quartararo on the second row, believes the Silverstone Long Lap layout may only cost the Yamaha star 0.8s in the race, instead of the usual 2.5-3s.

“Some people think that we will lose only 0.8 seconds, but we lose much more,” insisted Quartararo, who has been practicing the Long Lap throughout the weekend.

“I prefer to go a little bit slower and take no risk, than put myself on the limit, risk a crash or risk having to make another Long Lap [for touching the white line]. So it's not about one tenth or two tenths that will change my life for 20 laps.”

Acknowledging that Espargaro’s accident was “a bit one”, Quartararo added: “it's great that Aleix does not have a big injury after that crash.”

Quartararo, last year’s Silverstone winner, will start the race with a 21-point lead over Espargaro.