Jorge Lorenzo admits he and Yamaha will have to work hard between now and qualifying if they are to get close to the Hondas following a difficult first day of practice at Brno.
The reigning champion, who won the Czech Republic Grand Prix last season, was fourth fastest in both practice sessions, comfortably behind the trio of Hondas piloted by Dani Pedrosa, Casey Stoner and Marco Simoncelli.
Complaining of brake problems on his M1, Lorenzo – who is 20 points behind Stoner in the overall standings - concedes he is 'pretty far from the front'.
"Today's sessions have not been exactly as we expected. We are struggling a bit on braking and we lose too much time over the lap. Tomorrow we will work hard to improve the bike in the morning to be ready for qualifying because at this moment we are pretty far from the front.”
Spies, meanwhile, ended the day in sixth position, a result he was pleased with considering he is suffering from a trapped nerve in his neck, a complaint that prevented him from completing a long run.
“It was an ok day for us, I'm actually pretty happy with the results. I've got a little bit of a pinched nerve in my neck and I'm struggling a little bit on the bike but I'm still giving it 100%. Lap times aren't too bad I'm just not able to put too many laps together in a row.
“We're going to do a lot of physio over the next couple of days to get it where it's comfortable for the race and I'm pretty optimistic about how we can turn things around for Sunday.”