Yamaha team director Massimo Meregalli believes the Catalunya Grand Prix proved that Ben Spies is back on form, even though an early error meant he could only finish 10th.
Spies has had a poor start to 2012, struggling for race pace and finishing no higher than eighth so far. But at Catalunya he battled with Dani Pedrosa for the lead early on, only to drop to the tail of the field when a failed bid to overtake the Honda saw Spies slide into the gravel and fall. After that he fought back to salvage a top-10 finish.
"Ben had a really good start and an impressive first two laps showing good feeling and fighting spirit," said Meregalli. "Unfortunately, the crash happened but it was very important for us to see that his confidence was back."
Spies was certain he would have finished on the podium without the error.
"I'm more disappointed for the team than for me because I felt good with the bike and we definitely had a bike to be on the podium today," he said. "I just made one mistake in the race and blew our chance.
"We were going good in the beginning but I was getting impatient with Dani. He was holding me up but I couldn't make the pass on the straight so I had to go for it on the brakes and unfortunately got out onto the edge of the track. I got up and we got back into it and our pace was pretty good, unfortunately it was too late to get back to the front."