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Barros jump-starts into an eleventh place finish at Shanghai

Barros jump-starts into an eleventh place finish at Shanghai

Barros jump-starts into an eleventh place finish at Shanghai

After a glorious win at Estoril two weeks ago, Alex Barros managed to jump-start his way into an eleventh place finish on Sunday at Shanghai in the first ever Chinese GP.

After jump-starting his Honda from his eleventh place grid position – against race regulations – the Brazilian rider managed to push through the field into seventh place, behind Melandri, before being ordered back to the pit-lane as a penalty for his jump-start.

Returning to the track after being penalised, Barros went on to set the fastest lap of the race – a lap of 2´13.716 – on the 21st lap. However, by that time any chance of catching leaders Rossi or Jacque had disappeared and Barros had to settle for a very disappointing eleventh place.

"It was a lost opportunity," said the disillusioned rider after the race. "The ride-through changed my race, and I had to make up ground from then on. I also had big problems with my vision being fogged, so much so that every lap I not only had to open the visor, but I had to pass my glove over it to clear it some more.

"I didn't realize I made a jump start, I thought the bike just imperceptibly moved; then I got a bad start and I was in amongst a group of riders who were making lots of mistakes. It was hard to get by, because they were riding strange lines, but I managed to get past and made it up to seventh behind Melandri, when I realised I had been given the penalty. I went straight in to the pit-lane because you have to if your team and race direction are telling you.

"It's a shame because I could have picked up points on Rossi, but instead I didn't get the chance. I don't want to think about it any more, and will concentrate on my next objective, Le Mans in two weeks time."

The race also turned out to be a big disappointment for team-mate Troy Bayliss after he slid out on the fourth lap. The Australian has had less than a fantastic start to the season with an eleventh place finish at Estoril two weeks before; although he did do better at Jerez, where he finished in sixth position.

"I'm disappointed because I could have got a good result today. This morning in the warm-up I had a really good feeling in the hard rain and I was confident for the race. However later, in the race was not the same, I got a lot of wheel spin, and after the start I was in about tenth place.

"There was so much water and on the fourth lap on the long left I lost the rear end. What can I say, sometimes racing's like this. All I can say is that I'll be aiming to go well in the next GP."

Speaking after the race, Team Manager Sito Pons expressed his dismay with the day's proceedings, "I'm sorry about how today went because we have the rider and the conditions to win. "Alex was the fastest rider in the race, but he jumped the start and unfortunately you pay for those kinds of errors. Without the penalty, today we would have been fighting for the win and the championship situation would also have been much better. Anyway, we are only three Grand Prix in, we may have lost a few points, but Alex has shown that he is a rider fighting for the title.

He is quick in all conditions, whether the wet, like today, or in the dry, like two weeks back. It was a shame also because of Troy's crash, and perhaps it was a little early to try and make up ground, when he could have waited to work out the track conditions a little more and how the tyres worked on it. He is a fighter though, and he gave everything."

The Camel Honda team will now have to wait two weeks before getting back on the saddle and making up lost points in France. However not all is lost, although things didn't work out for Alex Barros in China, he will still start off the French GP third in the overall standings on 43 points, owing to his win at Estoril and his fourth place finish at Jerez.


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