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The passion that drives MotoGP’s Rookies

The passion that drives MotoGP’s Rookies

The MotoGP World Championship is where all motorcycling talents aspire to be. Here, a selection of the riders making their debuts in the premier class in 2010 talk before and after the opening race of the 2010 season in Qatar.

It is the dream of many young enthusiasts to make it to the MotoGP World Championship when they start out on their motorcycling adventure. The competition is tough and the road is long, but for a select few the dream is realised. This season there are six new full-time riders in the premier class, all with different backgrounds and having taken different paths.

“If you had asked me four years ago if I was going be here I would have answered probably no. It’s a dream for anybody that races motorcycles,” is the view of Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider Ben Spies, who arrived in MotoGP having conquered world superbikes in 2009. “You get here and you think about what you can and can’t do but it’s a life-long dream for me, so I am having fun with it. Work starts and we try to do the best we can.”

The Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar saw Spies finish fifth in the debut race of his first full campaign in MotoGP. He assessed it by stating: “I felt good for the first race of the year, it was good to get a top five. I am super happy about it and glad it’s over and now I can get and get more in a rhythm! But now we go to a track I don’t know, so that’s going to be kind of tough.”

Álvaro Bautista made the step up from the 250cc class to participate in his maiden campaign at the elite level. The former 125cc World Champion is riding with the Rizla Suzuki team, and always had the premier class as his target when he set out as a youngster.

“When I started in the World Championship I though that it would be very difficult to get to MotoGP. Then you arrive here and it’s like normal, not a dream, but it’s still strange, but I am happy,” said the charismatic 25 year-old, who also discussed the people that have helped him reach his goal. “I have my manager Armando Guerrero, he comes to all my races and he helps me, and my girlfriend is also here to help me and push me in the first race.”

Bautista had a baptism of fire in his first race, suffering the disappointment of crashing out with just one lap to go. He said: “It’s not been the best way to start in MotoGP. In the last lap, on the last corner, I crashed. I had seen Simoncelli in front and I tried to catch him and I crashed in the last corner.”

Fellow Spaniard Héctor Barberá enters his ninth season in the World Championship in 2010, having been runner-up in both the 250cc and 125cc classes. His pedigree earned him a ride with the Páginas Amarillas Aspar Team in the top flight.

“It’s always a dream when you start to race,” said Barberá in reference to MotoGP. “When you start off it seems far away, then you get closer and the moment arrives and you there and you’re ready.”

Twelfth place on his debut was a rewarding result, and he added: “I’m happy. For the first race it has not gone too badly, and there is still much to do.”

MotoGP, 2010, COMMERCIALBANK GRAND PRIX OF QATAR, Hector Barbera, Alvaro Bautista, Ben Spies

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