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Ben Spies eyes Catalunya turnaround

Ben SpiesBen Spies believes that he can turn his season around and end a miserable opening to 2012 in the forthcoming Catalunya Grand Prix.

After four races the Texan, 26, currently lies 11th in the riders' championship, and boasts an eighth-place finish at Estoril as his best result - in contrast to team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, who is yet to finish outside the top two.

Spies is convinced he can turn his form around at Catalunya however, having scored his first MotoGP podium for the works Yamaha squad in last year's race.

"I really enjoy riding this track so I've been looking forward to getting here and getting started," Spies said.

"It's been a really challenging season so far, I really believe this weekend will see a turn around and we can get it back on track."

"As always I'm going to give it 100 per cent to produce the best results possible. We know the bike is competitive so we'll focus on finding a good base set up quickly and hope we finally have a full dry weekend for everyone!"

Team director Massimo Meregalli said he too was confident Spies could end a poor start to 2012 at the Spanish track.

"We know Ben likes this track a lot," Meregalli said, "and his podium finish here last year gives me confidence that with the right set up he can perform strongly and put a difficult start to the year behind him."

Spies' team-mate Lorenzo, who arrives at his home circuit with an eight-point lead over Honda's Casey Stoner in the riders' standings, said his emphatic win at Le Mans had given him an extra boost ahead of the season's fifth race.

"It's going to be a tough race because our competitors are very strong but our victory in Le Mans has given us extra confidence. We know we can be very fast and competitive so we will be focused from the first session," Lorenzo said.

"I remember my victories and podiums here well, not just in this class but also from my 250cc days. This is a special race for me as my home race so I want to give all the fans the best show that we can."

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