Valentino Rossi made his best start to a 2017 MotoGP weekend by setting the second-fastest lap time during Friday practice at Silverstone.

The Movistar Yamaha rider - looking to end a run of three races off the podium, since his victory at Assen in June - completed day one of the British Grand Prix in second place, just 0.241s behind home hero Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda).

"It was a good day for us," Rossi confirmed. "First of all, riding the MotoGP bike at Silverstone with this incredible weather is great. I enjoy it a lot. Because this track is fantastic and this weather is a big surprise for everybody.

"I enjoy also it because I have a good feeling with the bike from the first lap. Like has happened a lot of times during the season; sometimes I have a very good feeling with the bike and with the tyres, other times I suffer more.

"But we make a lot of laps on the used tyres, we tried the medium, we tried the hard. Somebody also tried the soft. Looks like again this weekend, the three options for the rear are open for everybody. So I think it will be quite important for everybody to make the right choice on Sunday. It depends on the temperature and the condition of the track.

"We have a good pace, also with the used tyre I'm still competitive, and my lap time is quite constant and quite fast. So we start in a good way.

"It's very difficult to recreate the race situation during practice, because you have to stop and restart. But with both tyres I did around 13, 14 laps, so still 6, 7 to go [for race distance], but the feeling is good, I'm still fast and the lap time is good.

"For sure we have a lot of work to do, but we are already with a good speed and I'm so happy."

After struggling for set-up at recent rounds, Rossi suggested the Friday success was down to the character of the M1 suiting the fast and flowing circuit - but also something they had found at the recent private Misano test.

"Our bike works very well here. I think for something that we tried in Misano that can help us, but especially because the bike works well here. And also the tyre, you feel the tyre when you ride and we can be strong, with good pace."

Rossi's team-mate Maverick Vinales, last year's winner for Suzuki, completed a strong day for Yamaha with third on the timesheets.

Silverstone is renowned for its bumpy braking zones, caused by the F1 cars, forcing compromises to be made with bike set-up.

"For me personally the track is not much worse than last year, it's more or less the same. For sure the cars and Formula 1 damage the track, but also in Silverstone, you have a lot of different asphalt, and the joints are also in the middle of the corner, so also for that reason it is difficult.

"You have to have an easy bike on the bumps, but at the same time with a high performance. So it's not easy to find the good balance. But we started from a good level, this is the most important, because now we can focus more on the tyre choice and the details and try to go faster and faster."

Rossi's only real difficultly on Friday was his physical condition.

"I'm not fantastic. Last night it was very difficult to sleep, and this morning I woke up and tried to vomit. I was not in a great shape. I hear also a lot of other people [feel the same].

"But this afternoon it got better, fortunately when I ride I'm good."

Rossi starts round 12 holding fourth in the world championship, 33 points from Honda's Marc Marquez, who was fifth quickest after falling twice on Friday.


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