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Barbera ready and waiting to get back on track

Barbera ready and waiting to get back on track

Spanish 250cc star Hector Barbera has declared himself 98% ready to return from injury and is keen to make his test debut with his new team Pepe World Pons WRB.

Hector Barbera is ready to start a new era in his World Championship career this season as he returns following a serious injury which cut short his 2008 campaign. Following more than four months of rest and recuperation the Spanish rider is preparing to return to riding in pre-season following an accident last year in practice at Motegi in which he fractured three vertebrae – forcing him to miss the end of the season.

With the cancellation of the 250cc race at Indianapolis in the round before Japan Barbera´s last race of the year was his third place finish at Misano and the Valencian competitor is therefore understandably itching to return to action.

Later this month (26th-28th January) the first 250cc test of the year takes place at the southern Spanish circuit of Jerez, giving Barbera the opportunity to test his physical condition, to work with his new team - Pepe World Pons WRB - for the first time and to put his new 2009 Aprilia RSA prototype through its paces.

`I´m happy with the way my back is healing and I would say I´m already at about 98% in terms of my fitness level. I just need a little bit more time,´ explained the rider who is just reaching the conclusion of a lengthy rehab process. `I have been out of action for a few months and I´m not in the same condition as I was early last season but I am getting there. The training we are doing is really good and it is helping me to recover quickly. In fact I have just started running and it feels great. My back is still a bit sore because I need to rebuild the muscles there, but I am getting back to normal.´

The 22 year-old also told just how much he is looking forward to working with his new employers, in a team headed up by former 250cc World Champion Sito Pons.

He stated, `We have the test in Jerez at the end of the month and the plan is just for me to get on the bike and see how I feel. After four months, which is the longest I have ever gone without riding, I´m really keen to get back on the track and see how everything goes.´

`I´m going into this new phase of my career with an extra year of experience and I feel that last year I just got injured when things were starting to go well,´ commented Barbera who had recorded six consecutive top five results before his costly Japanese crash. `This year I´ll be working with Sito Pons, who has a great team in place. He was a great rider himself, a legend, he has so much he can teach me and things are looking very positive. I think at times previously I had difficulties because of language barriers but this year we all speak Spanish and we all understand each other well.´

Regarding his main rivals this season Barbera added, `Well, with (Marco) Simoncelli and (Alvaro) Bautista we are talking about the World Champion and the runner-up in the category but everyone in the World Championship is good, so I don´t think you can really pick out anyone in particular. I just hope that the weather is good in testing and that we can do all the work we need to, so that I can really get ready for the start of the season. I missed out on the testing and the last few races at the end of 2008 so my rivals have had more time and I need to go for it right from the start of the year. I really want to get back on the bike and start working. The team and Sito have put faith in me even whilst I was injured so I want to repay that trust.´

250cc, 2008, Hector Barbera

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