Ben Spies has an excellent chance of taking the World Superbike Championship lead for the very first time, on Sunday at Brno.

The American rookie sensation has closed to within 14 points of Ducati's injured championship leader Noriyuki Haga, who has held the top spot since victory in race one of the Phillip Island season opener.

With 50 points available on Sunday, and four rounds remaining after that, the championship momentum is very much with Spies and Yamaha.

"We had a good test at Imola last week so I'm in a confident mood," said Spies. "Brno is yet again another new track for us so I'm really looking forward to running around the circuit this week and then getting out on the bike on Friday to get a feel for it.

"We only have ten races left now to the end of the championship so we need to make every one count. Everybody is going to be working hard to be up front this weekend so it's going to be a tough race but I'm excited about it," he declared.

Crew chief Tom Houseworth revealed that Spies should enjoy slightly improved hard-braking performance from his YZF-R1 this weekend.

"We've just finished a very productive test at Imola. We were working on some suspension components, a couple of new Pirelli tyres and the overall race setup of the bike," he began.

"We have been having a small problem keeping the rear wheel of our Yamaha R1 on the ground during very heavy braking however the combination of our fork specification along with some of the components we tested at Imola should help with this issue for Ben moving forward.

"We will start the Brno weekend on bike 1 with a comfortable base setting (std link, offset and ride heights etc.) with the exception of the test components which we will start with straight away to get as much data as possible and make sure the feeling is the way we want to go.

"If everything feels good we will continue to fine tune our race setup paying attention to the weather as it's possible that Bruno will be hot. It will be important to find the right tyre combination that will last the race, allowing us to be near the front."