BARCELONA (Spain) (AFP) - Rafael Nadal continued his storming spring with a win at the Barcelona Open on Wednesday but said he expects to eventually run out of gas due to a crowded clay season this Olympic year. "It will be impossible for me to keep a top level over four straight weeks," said the three-time Roland Garros champion after producing a 6-4, 6-2 second-round defeat of Potito Starace. While the king of clay was reaching the third round, fourth seed James Blake was fighting disappointment after losing the first career match he has ever played on iconic Spanish clay. The American ran out of time against German Denis Gremelmayr in a 6-1, 6-4 defeat less than a fortnight after the number 85 took a set off Roger Federer in Estoril. "I don't want to think too much about this match," said only the second American to appear on European clay three weeks into the pre-Paris season. "I was starting to get used to conditions in the second set. "But I ran out of time. I wish we were playing in a third set right now." Blake has had hard luck on the dirt this month, losing a final-set lead in the Houston final as Spaniard Marcel Granollers-Pujol won a first career title at his expense. "I hope the Davis Cup doesn't go the same way," said Blake, who is likely to be onside when the US play September's Davis Cup semis in a Spanish city yet to be decided.Nadal said that the Barcelona crowds will keep him excited this week as he continues the long-odds job of trying to defend Barcelona and Rome titles before aiming to lift a fourth straight title at Roland Garros. "I cannot expect to keep at top level through every week," said last weekend's winner of a fourth consecutive Monte Carlo crown. "It's more psychological than physical. "You can't focus all the time, every week." The popular victory at the Real club over the Italian ranked 45th, left Nadal with an enviable 99 wins out of his last 100 clay matches since winning his first Monte Carlo title in 2005. Spain's Mallorcan tennis hero fought with the persistent Starace in the first set before breaking open the match at 3-1 on his way to victory in 78 minutes with four breaks of serve. The world number two next faces 16th-seeded compatriot Feliciano Lopez, a winner over fellow Spaniard Alberto Martin 3-6, 6-2, 6-4. "It will not be easy, his serve is big and that can give me problems," said Nadal, whose 28 wins leads the ATP this season. Nadal lost his only Barcelona match in 2003 against Alex Corretja in the second round. He has beaten Juan Carlos Ferrero, Tommy Robredo and Guillermo Canas in the past three finals. In addition to Lopez, three more seed followed Nadal's winning example on a sunny day. Number two David Ferrer crushed countryman Gabriel Trujillo-Soler 6-1, 6-1 while Nadal's Beijing Olympic doubles partner Tommy Robredo, the number six seed, put out Dutch promise Robin Haase 6-2, 6-4. Tenth seed Nicolas Almagro beat Italy's Filippo Volandri 6-4, 7-6 (7/5) while Albert Montanes reversed the fortunes of Ivo Karlovic, upsetting the Croatian eighth seed 6-7 (7/9), 6-3, 7-5 Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka set up a clash with third seed David Nalbandian by beating Kazakh lucky loser Yuri Schukin 6-3, 6-4.