MotoGP title leader Jorge Lorenzo believes Factory Yamaha team-mate Ben Spies just needs to stay calm and focused in order to turn around a nightmare opening half to the 2012 season.

Lorenzo has won five races, finished no lower than second on the eight occasions he has reached the flag and leads the championship by 19-points.

However Spies is yet to finish on the podium and has scored just 66 points relative to Lorenzo's 185, leaving him tenth in the championship.

The Texan - who took his first MotoGP win alongside Lorenzo last season - has suffered a torrid run of problems that have hampered his hopes in almost every race this year (see below).

That continued at Mugello on Sunday, when Spies suffered an illness that left him dizzy and almost physically sick on his way to eleventh.

"I don't think it's a question of talent or speed, because in his first full-time race at Qatar in 2010 he finished only four seconds from the winner with the [satellite] Tech 3 bike," said Lorenzo, when asked about the difference to Spies so far this year.

"So that means he is able to do it.

"I think he needs to be calm because the [2012] championship is quite unstable, or bad for him. If he is focused and calm he can be on the podium in a very constant way and sometimes win races."

While Lorenzo has already re-signed for Yamaha, the other 2013 factory ride is yet to be decided.

Tech 3 riders Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso have made no secret of their desire to step-up to the factory team - with Dovizioso already scoring four podiums in his debut Yamaha season.

"I don't have any big problem with either of them," said Lorenzo, when asked if he would prefer Spies or the on-form Dovizioso as his 2013 team-mate.

"Maybe with Ben I'm friends a little bit more because we spend some time together. With Dovi we had some fights in the past in 250cc and also this year, at some tracks," smiled Lorenzo.

"But I don't have any problem with him [Dovi]. He is a very valid rider to ride an official Yamaha. Now Lin Jarvis and Yamaha must decide the second rider."

Former factory Honda rider Dovizioso is fourth and the top satellite rider in the world championship. Like Spies he has taken one previous MotoGP victory.

Ben Spies' 2012 season:

Round 1 - Qatar: 11th. Suffers severe chatter caused by suspected bike damage from a practice fall. Round 2 - Jerez: 11th. A 'pathetic race' in which Spies 'just wasn't comfortable'. Round 3 - Portugal: 8th.'Four or five big mistakes' that 'cost me time and places'. Round 4 - Le Mans: 16th. Made a pit stop due to major vision problems, caused by rain entering his helmet. Round 5 - Catalunya: 10th. Ran wide and fell as he overtook Dani Pedrosa for the lead early in the race. Round 6 - Silverstone: 5th. Leads the early laps but then suffers a 'huge drop' in rear tyre performance. Round 7 - Assen: 4th. One of several riders to suffer rear tyre chunking and was worried it would 'explode'. Loses third place on the very final lap. Round 8 - Sachsenring: 4th. A 'frustrating race' in which Spies lacks edge grip and acceleration'. Round 9 - Mugello: 11th. An illness leaves Spies 'fighting waves of dizziness and trying not be physically sick' during the race.