By Stephen English
After a below par eleventh at the Qatar MotoGP Ben Spies found himself at the centre of much speculation, with Andrea Dovizioso being linked with a move from the Tech 3 squad to the factory Yamaha outfit next year.
With a frame problem having caused his Qatar woes, Spies felt that he didn't get the opportunity to show his pace in the desert, but it hasn't stopped speculation mounting about his future.
When pressed about whether he was feeling under pressure from former factory Honda rider Dovizioso, the American dismissed it.
"I don't care," said Spies. "Dovizioso has been in the series about triple the time that I've been here and he's had his chance at factory seats.
"I think that people know his ability and what it is. It's fourth to sixth place finishes and that's not bad but it's not Casey or Jorge for sure."
Spies went on to say that while he has not been able to match team-mate Lorenzo, the bike woes in Qatar masked his potential for this season.
The Texan will start sixth on the grid at Jerez, one place ahead of Dovizioso.