It's rare to see Ben Spies angry while on the racetrack but something had clearly more than irritated the MotoGP rookie at the end of Saturday's qualifying session in Catalunya.

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider jumped up from eleventh to fifth on his last lap, but his body language indicated much more was possible without an unseen incident.

Speaking after the session the reigning World Superbike champion, who has finished third and fourth at the last two rounds, revealed that he had been blocked by Aleix Espargaro.

(Espargaro was later dropped from eighth to twelfth on the grid, for cutting the track between turns 1 and 2).

"I'm pretty upset because Espargaro blocked me," said Spies. "He saw me coming and didn't even move and I was lucky because that was already on my third lap on the last soft tyre I had available.

"I had to do my fastest lap on the fourth lap on the tyre and I didn't think I'd get as high as fifth and was worried I'd be a lot further down. So considering that, I'm pretty happy with how it ended.

"It will be a tough race but I'll be giving it my all to continue the momentum I gained with good results at Silverstone and Assen."

Earlier in the session, Spies completed a 20-lap run, almost a full race distance, on the softer tyre.

Team-mate Colin Edwards will start eleventh and admitted he's not sure how he can improve.

"Nobody wants to be down in 11th, least of all me, but I know I am riding better than ever and that is all I can do with the package we have got," he declared. "It is really tough to go any faster than I am and it is not through a lack of trying on my part and my crew at Monster Yamaha Tech 3.

"If I race with the hard tyre I can probably be fighting for tenth and if I go with the soft tyre then at least I might be able to get in a good rhythm early on and see where we end up.

"I'll be giving it my all as usual but it is a little bit frustrating at the moment. I am so close to the top six on the times but I can't physically ride the bike any harder than I am to get those last couple of tenths I need to be higher up."


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