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Barberá ecstatic after comeback triumph

Barberá ecstatic after comeback triumph

After fracturing three vertebrae last season in Japan Héctor Barberá’s career was in doubt, but on Sunday in Qatar he made an amazing comeback to win the first 250cc race of 2009.

Sunday’s shortened 250cc race at the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar was full of drama and surprises, with Spaniard Héctor Barberá and Frenchman Jules Cluzel undertaking a battle at the front that few would have predicted.

The quarter litre class riders saw the start of their first race this season delayed due to rain and the contest was curtailed to 13 laps for scheduling reasons but once it got underway Barberá soon took control at the front and registered a superb win, despite not racing since the San Marino GP last August.

Joining the newly formed Pepeworld Team this season under the management of former double 250cc World Champion Sito Pons, Barberá has fought his way back from a serious back injury sustained at Motegi last season, meaning even lining up on the grid at Losail was something of an achievement for the 22 year-old.

Indeed, his 2009 ride was in doubt for quite some time during the long hard winter months, so after his first win since the 2006 Chinese GP on Sunday he was understandably ecstatic.

Following the completion his Qatar victory he stated, “I’m really happy with this result because last year was really difficult and this year we have had to work really hard just to put the bike on the track. Once we finally got the bike ready I’ve been really fast and this win demonstrates that.”

“Above all I want to thank all the doctors who helped me through my recovery from the injury as they did an amazing job and I want to say a big thanks to everyone who has been behind me, pushing on to achieve what I’ve done this weekend in Qatar,” Barberá continued. “I also want to thank my team and all our sponsors, who are excellent.”

“The race was quite strange,” he went on to explain. “I knew that the first three or four laps would be crucial and that we would then see a front group forming, so I just wanted to avoid any crashes. I didn’t want to be in the middle of a crowd. I really went for it on the first corner and that put me ahead, so after that I just took things calmly and controlled the situation.”

“I saw that (Jules) Cluzel was pushing at pace and that allowed us to build up a bit of a gap at the front, then I waited behind him and with five laps to go I went ahead of him. I didn’t go crazy because I didn’t want to take any risks and I knew I had him beaten.”


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