MotoGP Rookie Hafizh Syahrin enjoyed his best Friday in the premier-class as he set the Yamaha pace with fourth on the Friday practice timesheets at Brno in the Czech Republic.

Syahrin joined most of the top ten (including the other Yamahas) in using a soft rear tyre to record his best lap time, which was just 0.224s behind Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa, at the end of a scorching hot session.

But the Malaysian was especially pleased with his performance on the hard front and rear rubber, after a punishing experience with the latter at Austin.

"This is my best Friday ever and I also really surprised myself," said Syahrin, who now leads the rookie standings by three points from Franco Morbidelli.

"I love the circuit and I think it works well with my style. I also spoke with the team and saw some videos from Jorge and tried to copy some information from him.

"During the summer break I also did some training at home and today in the morning I felt really good with the bike and also really motivated for the second half of the season.

"In the afternoon I also tried new things with the tyres, especially the hard compound. Because I never tried the hard front tyre and also I didn't have confidence with the rear before because in Austin I had a big highside with the hard tyre.

"Usually it takes a long time to have good grip and good feeling with the hard tyres, but today suddenly after one lap I felt really good with the hard tyre and I tried to keep my pace. I tried to understand how the tyre works.

"I'm really happy with the hard tyre and that's why I can keep my pace really close to the rest of the riders."

Syahrin is now turning his focus towards defending his top ten place on Saturday morning, which would allow direct access to Qualifying 2.

"It will be interesting tomorrow morning because I know some riders will improve, especially Marc [Marquez] because today he was tenth and for sure tomorrow he won't want to be out of the top ten.

"But tomorrow morning everyone can improve because the temperature of the track will be lower and for the tyres a bit less stress.

"So I hope I can also improve tomorrow morning by two or three tenths to stay in the top ten and I really want to go into Qualifying 2. Because many times I was very close to Qualifying 2 but I went out."

In the past, the pressure of trying to get into Qualifying 2 has been Syahrin's downfall.

"I went out today feeling like I was at a test, not a race weekend. No stress. Because mostly when I was really close to the top ten I got really stressed because I really want it, but it didn't happen," he said.

"So I tried to stay really calm, relaxed and the strategy is working really well."

Team-mate Johann Zarco was ninth fastest, with Movistar Yamaha's Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales seventh and sixth respectively.