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Before the Motul TT Assen, riders had had very little experience with the Michelin wet weather tyres. This made tyre choice a bit of a gamble, Hector Barbera (Avintia Racing) opting for the harder option rear. This proved to be a poor choice as Barbera struggled for grip on the drying TT Circuit Assen. He floated around outside the points until the red flag was displayed by Race Direction as the rain had returned and with such force that conditions were deemed unsafe for racing.
"The difference was so big that it took me some laps to get used to it" Hector Barbera
For the restart Barbera fitted the soft option wet tyre, completely changing his bike. His pace improved almost immediately and he went from struggling to pushing, sitting in seventh until Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) fell and promoted Barbera to sixth. This result helped him to hold onto seventh in the championship standings, still the leading Ducati.
Hector Barbera: “I’m really happy with this result because the first race was a disaster. I decided to use the harder rain compound for the rear and it had no grip at all, with the bike spinning even on the straight. Just pointing to the corners, the bike was sliding and I did not enjoy riding in these conditions. In the second race, we used the softer rain tyre and the bike changed completely. But the difference was so big that it took me some laps to get used to it. After such a difficult weekend, with mechanical issues and two crashes, this sixth place is a reward for everybody in the team. I want to thank my team for their support during the weekend, because they react quickly to the problems and they push me to keep my motivation high.”
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