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Ninth place leaves Hector Barbera thinking about what could have been had he worked better in the build up to the race.
In both the opening races of 2016 Hector Barbera had been one of the strongest Independent Team riders, mixing up the established order. His expectations were high after a fantastic fifth place finish in Argentina but his Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas never gained the momentum he needed. Throughout the course of the weekend he had difficulties finding a good setting for his bike and was left disappointed with the work he had done. Come race day this saw him struggle, especially in the opening laps as he dropped as low as 19th. After the poor start he rallied and within eight laps was with Michele Pirro (Octo Pramac Yakhnich) and Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3). The trio would trade positions for several laps before the Avintia Racing rider eventually concluded the race in ninth.
Barbera’s race was complicated further by physical issues around the demanding 5.5km long Circuit of the Americas, his forearms tensing up early in the race. Thanks to three top ten finishes in the firs three races, Barbera sits sixth in the World Championship standings with 25 points, just two points shy of Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) on the factory Honda. It may have been a disappointing race in America, but the start to the season has been excellent for Barbera. He and Avintia Racing team have perhaps benefited the most from the new rules, able to now consistently challenge for the top ten as opposed to battling for a single point.
Hector Barbera: “This was a difficult weekend and every day was getting more complicated. Maybe I came here with high expectations after the fifth place in Argentina, and I think this was not good for us, because during the whole weekend I didn’t work as I had to. So we arrived at the race today eager to race, but maybe with some unfinished homework. This is a very physical circuit and I suffered with my forearm; after five laps I had a lot of pain. Finally I could make up the weekend with another top ten finish and, although this is not relevant, we are the first Ducati and sixth in the standings after three races.”
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