Ben Spies, sixth on his factory Yamaha MotoGP debut at Qatar earlier this month, has unfinished business at Jerez - venue for this weekend's second round of the 2011 world championship.
After qualifying seventh for last year's Spanish Grand Prix, the Texan went on to suffer his very first MotoGP non-finish when he retired due to a front-tyre problem in the race.
“I have unfinished business here at Jerez,” said Spies. “I really enjoyed riding here last year and was disappointed not to be able to take some points from the race. Now I'm back with a full factory machine so I believe the outcome should be a little different!
“We have track knowledge from last year so we can focus straight away on getting the 2011 M1 set up and we'll see what we can do. It's my team-mate's home race so I'm expecting a great atmosphere.”
New Factory Yamaha team director Massimo Meregalli, who also guided Spies to the 2009 World Superbike title, believes everything is in place for a strong weekend.
“Last year was unfortunate for Ben during the race, but during the practice and qualifying the times weren't so bad,” he said. “For sure he knows the circuit so he can be immediately focused on finding the right set up and concentrating on a decent tyre choice. The fast corners of Jerez are good for us, our bike works well and we have always had good results here with the M1.”
After losing time early in the Losail race, Spies finished ten seconds from race winner Casey Stoner and seven seconds behind team-mate and reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo, who finished runner-up.