Initially, it looked like Valentino Rossi would finish Friday practice for the British MotoGP in just 17th place, after having his best time cancelled due to exceeding tracks limits by the smallest of margins.

But, like Fabio Quartararo and Takaaki Nakagami, the Italian later had the lap reinstated and so finished fourth on the timesheets, 0.7s from Quartararo, around the newly-resurfaced Silverstone circuit.

"I did a good lap, but I was really on the limit with the white line, but from the bike I had the feeling that anyway I touched it," Rossi said. "In fact, they had to review the image and then they gave me back my lap time, which is very important for [the top ten] tomorrow morning.

"So it's a good start because we come from two races where I improved the feeling with the bike and then also the first day here was good because in both sessions I had quite good pace.

"I am in P4, but for sure it's just Friday so everything will change. We have to work in some different areas where I don’t feel comfortable at the maximum, but the start was good."

In terms of overnight improvements, Rossi explained: "We lose a little bit in traction, in acceleration. Section four is always difficult because in the exit from Turn 17 looks like we have a bit too much slide. And also the last corner is a bit difficult.

"I'm very fast in section two, not so bad in section one. Section three is not fantastic in the two hairpins.

"In general we have to work with the electronics, work with the balance and especially we need to make the right choice with the tyres because this afternoon I tried hard-hard but it was not fantastic, so the choice is very open."

Silverstone was completely resurfaced following last year's cancellation due to drainage problems. The grip is better, Rossi said, but the biggest improvement has been to the bumps.

"It's a great pleasure to ride here in Silverstone because they make a very good job," said the nine time world champion.

"The new asphalt has good grip, but the biggest difference is a lot less bumps, so you can push more and ride the bike more at the limit. You can also use the perfect line because in the past Silverstone was very, very bumpy.

"For me we need to 'use' the track this year because maybe in the future come some more bumps, but this year - I don’t want to say perfect - but it's close to perfect."

Rossi's team-mate Maverick Vinales made it three Yamahas in the top four, with Honda's Marc Marquez in second.

"It looks like all the Yamahas are in good shape," said Rossi. "This is good and we will try to continue like this, working tomorrow to arrive ready for Sunday and hoping that the weather remains good."

Asked about the small differences between the chassis now being used by the Yamaha riders, Rossi said his frame is "maybe a bit different compared to Vinales" but that he has used the same design since the start of the season.

Vinales confirmed he had tried "two or three different chassis during the season", but "I've kept the same one for many races now".

Quartararo is thought to have got one of the newer frames by Assen, with 'factory spec' team-mate Franco Morbidelli having the same choice as Rossi and Vinales at the start of the year.

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