Ben Spies admits he is facing an 'uphill battle' at the Nurburgring after missing out on making it a tenth pole position of the season during the latest round of the World Superbike Championship.

The title chaser starts off the front row in fifth position for the first time this season after being unable to perfect his set-up on the Yamaha over a single lap.

Spies didn't aid his cause when he crashed during the preceding practice session, an innocuous accident, but one that left him down on dry weather mileage compared to his closest rivals.

"I didn't do myself or the team any favours by crashing and missing most of that session," Spies said. "It was just a low-side that threw me in the gravel trap pretty good over in the Dunlop hairpin. The biggest problem is it gave us so few laps in the dry before Superpole that we ran out of time to get the bike right."

"We're making progress, but there's a bit of an issue with the bike that we have to address. Knowing the problem is one thing, getting it corrected is another. It's been an uphill battle here.

Heading into the races with a clear shot at overhauling Noriyuki Haga in the overall standings for the first time this season, Spies is confident he will find the speed he needs to emerge a contender for race victory.

"The track is not that difficult to learn. Tomorrow's practice session will be important for use to make final adjustments to be ready for the race, but I'm confident the team will come through and we'll be competitive come race time."