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Barros back where he belongs

Barros back where he belongs

Barros back where he belongs

Alex Barros said it was "like returning home" when he finally rejoined Sito Pons' Honda team for a day of tests at Valencia on Tuesday. Barros rode for four seasons with the Honda Pons team from 1999 to 2002 and enjoyed the most successful spell of his career, winning five races and scoring fourteen podium finishes.

After an unsuccessful season with Yamaha in 2003 the Brazilian was drafted into HRC's factory effort last season as team-mate to Nicky Hayden at Repsol Honda, where he was reunited with Ramón Forcada, his chief mechanic from his days with Pons.

Barros will be supported by Forcada again in 2005 and, with Telemetry Engineer Lluis Lleonart also by his side, said he felt back where he belongs.

"Today was like returning home for me because this was my team for so many years and I'm really happy to be back with them," said Barros after the test on Tuesday, when he was the fastest Honda rider with a time of 1'33.18 – immediately improving his best lap from last month's race by almost a second.

"This session was important to get some laps in for the team of mechanics, which is not yet completed, and it was useful for me to ride before the winter break.

"I set some really fast lap times and then concentrated on testing a few different tyres. I'm really happy with the job we have done."

MotoGP, 2004, Alex Barros

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