Jorge Martinez ´Aspar´ on Hector Barbera

Thursday, 5 September 2002

Jorge Martinez ´Aspar´ on Hector Barbera

Hector Barbera shot to fame at the Gauloises Grand Prix of Czech Republic, challenging for the victory and dicing with riders much more experienced than himself. Aspar´s protégé spent most of the race racing against the usual top riders of the minor class, and even took a brief lead. He eventually finished in fourth, ahead of the leader of the Championship, Manuel Poggiali. According to his manager, the performance of his rookie wasn´t that much of a surprise...

´We always knew Hector had a great deal of potential´ declares Jorge Martinez Aspar. ´Since he started racing in trial, when he was 11, he always won and was a year ahead of the other riders. This year he has had some good races and I´m very pleased with his race in Brno - above all things by the way he fought established riders, including the reigning World Champion, Manuel Poggiali. This kind of race stresses the skills of the rider, and it´s even more impressive when you think that he is only 15´.

After Brno, Barbera confirmed his good form by winning a round of the CEV Fortuna 125 series. ´Such results are important for a rider, as the fact of getting closer to the podium builds up his confidence´ comments Aspar.

The former World Champion stresses that the most important thing as a team manager is to make his riders feel at ease. ´In Brno, I told him to not take any risks and to try to score points, and that´s what he tried. After the race, he told me he enjoyed the race, and I think this is important. After this race in Brno, I told him he hasn´t to worry about the results, or about getting faster, all the races won´t be like this one. I give him some advice at every Grand Prix, about the set up of his machine and also riding tips as he discovers all the tracks. That´s all I can do to support him, and in the end, it´s what he does aboard his bike that counts´. ´Later, for the Grand Prix in Valencia, I will allow him to give it everything´ adds Aspar, aware that his rookie will be eager to shine for his home Grand Prix.

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