Ben Spies salvaged fifth on the grid for Sunday's Portuguese MotoGP despite being blocked on three different fast laps during qualifying at Estoril.

The Factory Yamaha star, determined to recover from eleventh place finishes in the opening rounds, looked in danger of starting in the lower end of the top ten as lap-after-lap had to be abandoned.

Spies admitted it was 'annoying' but kept his cool and finally slotted into fifth, just behind team-mate and title leader Jorge Lorenzo.

"It was a tough session for everybody, the annoying thing was that three of my best laps were blocked but that's just the way it goes," he said. "Two of them I think could have been avoided but one of them was just a racing incident.

"We're on the second row in the middle and we're a lot better than we were in Jerez. I feel good on the bike and I just need to keep building the confidence now. Being three tenths behind Jorge at this track is pretty good."

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