Double first place for Fabio Quartararo in Friday's practices at Silverstone, the stage for round twelve. The young French rookie showed off his speed once again during the time attack beating Marc Marquez and Maverick Vinales in both sessions. After a smooth morning, this afternoon it was looking as if Quartararo would have to settle for eleventh place, considering that his best time was initially cancelled.
After careful photographic analysis though, the stewards decided to allow Fabio's time, which put him out front with a new track record no less. When interviewed, the Frenchman still thought he was eleventh.
"It's a real pity, I thought I'd set a great time because I really felt I was on the limit and it was a shame to see I was eleventh. The important thing is pace, and mine was phenomenal over those laps. We'll talk about turn 6 in the Safety Commission but I feel good on the bike anyway".
Turn 6 has raised questions today, with Rossi and Dovizioso having had their lap times cancelled there.
"I think everyone has something to say about turn 6 because Valentino and Dovi also had important lap times cancelled. It should be widened a little, like they did at Brno at the last turn considering that the exit is very aggressive, it's hard not to run wide. There is also a pothole at the braking point".
Another key point is the condition of the asphalt, all three classes setting new records today, though the pothole situation could be an issue.
"I think the track is amazing. Through certain turns, you feel the holes but it's nothing compared to last year, there's good grip and they've done an excellent job. The final turn is the worst in terms of potholes but there are some at turns 6, 1 and 16 too, though no different to eery other track".
A good start for Quartararo then, but also for Yamaha with Vinales third, Rossi 4th in FP2 and even Morbidelli inside the top ten. What are the differences between the factory M1s and those of Petronas?
"We barely rode with Valentino and Maverick today so I don't know if the bikes are similar or different. I don't even know what type of frame I'm using or if it's different to theirs. I know I'm using the new carbon swingarm which is a real help because I saw right from the Brno test that it makes me quicker in the changes of direction and makes the M1 more agile".
What's the goal this weekend? Is victory within reach after such a strong Friday?
"I'm not thinking about the win. I know Yamaha is better off here, on paper, compared to the Red Bull Ring but my aim is to be consistent and fast right through to Sunday afternoon.
Audio recorded by Matteo Aglio