Ben Spies heads into the Catalunya Grand Prix feeling optimistic that he can turn his fourth place grid position into a much-needed positive finish.

The American has endured a torrid start to his second season with the factory Yamaha team, with errors and disappointing race pace consigning him to a 11th overall with a best finish of just eighth position.

With pressure mounting to turn in a strong race result, particularly when measured against the in-form satellite Tech 3 Yamaha riders of Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso, Spies was pleased to secure a spot on the front of the second row for the Spanish race.

Indeed, with showers forecast for race day, Spies is now hoping the weather stays stable for him to build on his solid qualifying performance.

"That was a pretty good qualifying session. I'm a little frustrated as I lost a couple of tenths on one of the splits which would have put me on the front row. I think I had almost too much grip through T1 and T2 with the soft tyre!

"The bike is working really well, the team's worked hard to deliver a good set up so I'm confident we can run a competitive pace and stay with it tomorrow. It's going to be a tough race and I'm hoping the rain stays off!"