Maverick Vinales has been given a timely confidence boost from Friday practice at Silverstone after rediscovering a positive feeling with his Movistar Yamaha which translated from the recent Misano test.

Vinales topped a MotoGP session for the first time since June, FP2 at Assen, when he stormed ahead during the opening practice at Silverstone with Valentino Rossi capping a Movistar Yamaha 1-2.

Both factory Yamaha riders comfortably held on to a top 10 spot, provisionally set to head straight into Q2, during the afternoon session to show signs of recovery from the Japanese manufacturer after the nightmare it endured in Austria.

While Rossi pointed towards an improvement in its electronics set-up, having gained help from Yamaha’s technical chief of its World Superbike squad Michele Gadda, Vinales feels the key to his personal gains had been keeping a stronger feeling with his YZR-M1 from last week’s Misano test.

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Vinales accepts plenty of continual improvements are required to covert promising practice pace into the British MotoGP race, having struggled for early race pace with a heavy fuel load this season, but is optimistic for a strong showing at Silverstone where he claimed victory in 2016 with Suzuki plus a podium appearance 12 months ago.

“Today the strategy was to enjoy myself on the bike, enjoy myself, try to set up a good electronics for the track,” Vinales said. “After Misano we don’t know if it would work as well as there.

“But it was good, I could ride quite fast, precise and the rhythm was not so bad. We still need to improve in some areas but I am actually really happy.

“In Misano we did a good improvement on the bike and I could be aggressive again and try to ride my way. Here it was like that again so it means it’s possible. Let’s see. I am really curious to see if the track improves then how the bike will react.”

When pressed on the key area of improvement, Vinales outlined a more comfortable front-end feeling where he could maximise the higher cornering speeds from his Yamaha and the flowing Silverstone circuit.

“I could push the bike much more in the front and this always gives me a lot of confidence,” he said. “Every time I push the front I could do the lap times. It was very interesting to understand the way to ride the bike in order to be fast and consistent.

“In Misano we did a good improvement and here, if you don’t feel good with the front it is nearly impossible to go fast, so it was important.”

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