Ben Spies is hoping he won't need to repeat his 15th to eighth place ride in last year's Japanese Grand Prix, as MotoGP returns to Motegi this weekend.

The Texan had qualified sixth for his debut at the circuit, but ran wide on the second lap, forcing an impressive recovery ride.

"I really enjoyed the race here last year once I got over the frustration of losing so many places in the opening laps," said Spies.

Related Articles

"I managed to overtake quite a few riders on my way back up to eighth which always makes the race more exciting.

"I hope to be higher this year from the start so won't have to do so much catching up!"

As part of Yamaha's 50th anniversary of Grand Prix racing, Spies and team-mate Jorge Lorenzo will again run the special livery this weekend - which Spies was wearing when he took his first MotoGP win at Assen and third at Indianapolis earlier this year.

"We're racing in the red and white livery again which always seems to bring me luck!" said Spies.