Ben Spies' roller-coaster ride of a 2012 season continued at Silverstone when the Factory Yamaha star battled back from a fall in the wet morning session to finish a close second in the dry afternoon practice.

Spies, just eleventh in the championship after five rounds, led for the majority of the afternoon - interrupted by a rain shower - returning to the top after initially being displaced by Alvaro Bautista and Casey Stoner.

The trio then dominated the closing stages of the session, which ended with world champion Stoner 0.034s ahead of Spies and Bautista in third.

"Today was pretty good, although we didn't get off to a great start this morning, I had a small mishap and crashed at T15," confirmed Spies. "I'm happy enough though, even this morning in the rain I was very comfortable on the bike.

"We got a good dry session in this afternoon as well which is useful just in case we do have a dry race. The bike is working really well, it was pretty windy out there but we made the most of the 45 minutes to try a couple of things and we ended up going pretty quick."

"Ben started where he left off at the Aragon test with a good pace. He is able to make a fast lap quite easily and his feeling with the bike has been immediately good," declared team director Massimo Meregalli.

Spies took his first ever MotoGP podium at Silverstone in 2010 and

Team-mate and title leader Jorge Lorenzo finished the day in seventh place, 0.697s ahead of Stoner.

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