By Leandra Graves
It has been a difficult first four rounds of the MotoGP 2011 season for Yamaha's Ben Spies.
The Texan currently lies in 12th in the standings and after such a strong rookie year in 2010, many predicted the 26 year old would be a serious contender for the championship and be hot competition to his team mate Jorge Lorenzo.
With two sixth places under his belt, he's also had two crashes. One at the wet race in Jerez when in second place with 3 laps to go and one where a tool was left on his bike on the grid in Estoril which affected his braking, causing an abrupt and very unfortunate end to his race.
Leandra Graves caught up with him in Barcelona ahead of qualifying to discuss his thought's on this weekend's race in Spain, plus his thoughts on Simoncelli-gate and his relationship with team mate Lorenzo.
Friday was a positive start for the Yamaha rider finishing in the top five in both sessions, as well posting the fourth fastest time in Saturday's final practice.
The Circuit de Catalunya is one Spies openly admits to liking and he secured a sixth place finish here in last year's campaign.
“It was a good session for us, I am feeling positive as it was tough with the changeable conditions. We made changes with my position on the bike and I think we have that sorted now. I am hoping to score some solid points here and make sure I qualify well.
"My target is to win a race this year. That's my aim and that's the one thing we haven't been able to do yet. We are concentrating so much on next year's 1000c bike and hoping it will work much better than this year's.
"It's really hard when you look at the Hondas and how well they are performing. I mean Lorenzo is the World Champion and when he gets onto the rostrum, it's like a win for him and he's physically drained. It's hard when you know you can at best really only fight for rostrums.
"We haven't been as bad as things look this year. We have had a lot of bad luck and I'm devastated I lost the team the one-two finish in Jerez. I am really happy I picked up points in Le Mans as that's given me my confidence back and I can build on that this weekend.