When cameras cut to Fabio Quartararo grasping his left foot in obvious pain and unable to walk after falling during FP2 for the British MotoGP, his 47-point MotoGP title lead suddenly looked vulnerable.

Fortunately for the Frenchman, he eventually limped away with the help of marshals and, after a quick medical check and change of leathers, returned to action.

The Monster Yamaha star, whose foot had been tangled with his M1 after it highsided due to a cold hard-rear tyre on entry to the Vale chicane, promptly quashed any signs of weakness by going faster than before.

Quartararo then improved twice more to finish the day a dominant 0.5s clear of the field.

"I sprained my ankle, but everything is fine," he said. "When on the bike I don’t have pain. This is the most important.

"The hard rear tyre was a total disaster in that [cool] condition and I nearly crashed a few times before turn eight.

"I think I left the bike in the best moment," confirmed Quartararo, who let go and fell to the lowside as his bike kicked into a big highside.

"If I was high-sided I'd have gone really high and it would have been more painful. We were lucky today. But it’s not because I had this crash that I will ride more safe. Everyone can see after the crash I just went for it and had zero questions.

"It could have been worse, could have been better, but really lucky not to have a serious injury. But it’s part of the game.

"I was not really on the limit. It was a mistake from us to try the hard tyre in that condition. It was a bit risky. That’s what I wanted to do. Just like a normal weekend to see the performance.

"Anyway, it was important for us to make great laps after the crash. I was on a mission and wanted to make laps. I was feeling fast and to make 2’00.1 was positive. I’m feeling great."

Ducati's Jack Miller was Quartararo's closest Friday rival, while joint second in the championship Francesco Bagnaia and Joan Mir only managed sixth and 13th.