MotoGP champion Marc Marquez was the only rider able to interrupt a Yamaha sweep at the top of the Friday practice timesheets at Silverstone.

The Repsol Honda star was initially credited with the fastest lap of the day, but later demoted to second (+0.251s) when Fabio Quartararo had his best time reinstated, earlier cancelled due to exceeding track limits.

The same happened to Valentino Rossi, returning the Italian to fourth, just behind team-mate Maverick Vinales - meaning Marquez was the only non-Yamaha in the top four.

But that was despite the Honda rider using hard tyres at the end of the session, while his nearest rivals all fitted the soft.

It means Marquez still has some time in hand, but for race-pace the Spaniard feels rookie revelation Quartararo and Assen winner Vinales currently have the edge.

"We have two different hard tyres here. One 'hard' and one 'extra hard'', we can say. In the last run I went with the 'hard' just to understand it and was surprised because it was a great lap time," Marquez said.

"So I'm happy because we know that if we put the soft tyre we can have some extra speed. But at the moment we are working on race pace and for race pace I think especially Fabio and Vinales are one step in front of us."

Nonetheless, it was a strong start to what Marquez labelled as his worst track of last year.

"Last year here was the worse circuit and this year we are competitive. It's true that the Yamaha riders are very fast, but apart from that we are in a very good way," he said.

Those past difficulties, combined with the uncertainly of a new track surface, meant Marquez used only proven parts on his Honda.

"This weekend we had some doubts because last year we struggled a lot. Then there is the new surface, we have four different front and rear tyres, a lot of things," he said. "So it's better to just concentrate for example on using the same [standard] chassis and the new aerodynamics, that are clearly better.

"The other things that we are not yet sure about, the [new] chassis and the spoon [swingarm spoiler], it's better to forget and next week we have a test in Misano and will try again there.

"We are just concentrating on the race weekend because at this circuit normally we struggle a lot, but today was a good day."

Like his rivals, the reigning five-time MotoGP champion was impressed by the new asphalt.

"Last year we complained a lot about the asphalt but this year we must congratulate the circuit because they did an amazing job," he said. "There are some bumps, but they are inside the limit. Last year it was a motocross track and out of the range for a MotoGP circuit."

It was a white line rather than a bump that caused Marquez's lowside accident in FP2, his first fall during a grand prix weekend since Le Mans and first crash from his RCV since the Catalunya test in June.

"I [actually] braked a little bit earlier, because I pushed two laps before to do a great lap time, but I just touched the white line on the inside and lost the front," he said.

"Three months without crashing since Le Mans was too long for me!"

The spill was Marquez's seventh fall so far this season. He has never fallen less than 11 times in a season since joining the premier-class in 2013.

Marquez holds a 58-point title lead over Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso, who was sixth quickest, heading into this weekend.

Returning team-mate Jorge Lorenzo was 22nd and last on combined times.



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