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Spanish pair enjoy first day with MotoGP teams

Spanish pair enjoy first day with MotoGP teams

Héctor Barberá and Álvaro Bautista both enjoyed their first days of testing on MotoGP machinery with their respective new teams on Monday in Valencia.

First steps for Héctor Barberá and Álvaro Bautista en route to their moves into MotoGP next year were taken with glee on Monday in the end of season test at Valencia with the former trying his satellite Ducati and the latter his new Suzuki in the familiar surroundings of the Ricardo Tormo circuit.

Barberá, who comes from Valencia and won the last ever 250cc GP race at his home track on Sunday, was delighted to get his first feel of the Desmosedici 800cc machine which he will ride for the new Aspar MotoGP team next season. The Spaniard undertook 63 laps and registered a decent best effort of 1’36.204 to end the day 3.5s off pace man Casey Stoner’s fastest time.

“This is like a dream,” said Barberá at the end of Monday’s session. “This is an amazing moment in my career and we are looking to meet the very highest standards possible. I feel very comfortable in the Aspar team box again and the bike is amazing. It is very rigid in terms of drive which is similar to my old 250cc, but the grip is incredible and it feels like the straights are so much shorter. I’m still adapting of course, but you can feel the bike lifting up and it’s still hard for me to open the throttle fully.”

He continued, “The key objective was to make sure I did not crash. I felt pretty good on the bike and we went pretty fast, but I need to go step by step in order to get used to the bike which is at a similar level to the factory machines. It’s my first time on a four stroke bike and I didn’t know the lines to take but I’m learning quickly.”

Bautista, meanwhile, put in 52 turns on his new bike and lapped half a second quicker than Barberá on a productive first day with the Rizla Suzuki team.

He commented, “I had a day of learning how to handle the machine and enjoyed myself out there. The bike is so powerful and it is not easy to ride at first but I think it’s easier than a 250cc machine. The main differences are the traction control and the tyres, which last much longer, so the feeling on cornering is much steadier. I think we actually did better than the laptimes show.”

MotoGP, 2009, GP GENERALI DE LA COMUNITAT VALENCIANA, Alvaro Bautista, Hector Barbera, Rizla Suzuki MotoGP

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