Few would have predicted that Ben Spies would score the same number of points (20) from the first four rounds of this year, on a factory Yamaha, as he had during his rookie 2010 season with Tech 3 Yamaha.

Just as last year, Spies has failed to score in two of the four events - and he's only twelfth in the championship, compared with tenth at this time last year.

But having rebuilt his confidence with sixth place last time out at Le Mans, which followed the two DNFs, Spies is fired-up for this weekend's Catalunya round.

The Texan finished sixth in last year's race, after qualifying fifth.

"I think I'm looking forward to this race more than any so far this year!" said Spies, whose team-mate Jorge Lorenzo is leading the world championship. "This is definitely a circuit I like to ride a lot more than the previous four.

"After a difficult start with some unlucky results we put in a solid ride at Le Mans, considering the pace of some of our competitors I was happy to finish where we did and get some points under my belt.

"As always we're ready to give it 100% this weekend and will be looking again to build on the last round and hopefully move up a couple of places in the championship standings come Sunday."

"Ben really likes this circuit and he's got his confidence back following a difficult start to the year," confirmed team director Massimo Meregalli. "The team are in confident mood and we are impatient for Friday morning to get started on track."

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