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Eventful weekend for Barbera with new Ducati

Eventful weekend for Barbera with new Ducati

It was a difficult first weekend for Avintia Racing and Hector Barbera with Ducati at Aragon, after a bike fire on Friday and a tough race on Sunday.

The weekend commenced with an official Avintia Racing presentation of their Ducati machine, but on Friday in free practice the bike caught alight and Barbera was forced to abandon his ride due to the flames. The Spaniard escaped with only a burn on his left arm.

Saturday saw Barbera crash in FP3 before he recovered well in Q1 to make it through to Q2 with Valentino Rossi. However in Q2 front end chatter hindered Barbera and he could not set a time, therefore qualifying twelfth.

A good start to the race saw him hold 11th place on lap 3 but he dropped back towards the bottom of the point scoring positions as the race progressed.

Other than the riders who crashed out, however, Barbera was the rider who was most hindered by rain late in the race. Once the flags indicated that the riders could enter pit lane to change to their second bikes - all set up for wet riding - Avintia were faced with a challenge as they only had one machine available for Barbera.

This meant he had to wait whilst his mechanics changed the wheels of his bike to put on wet tyres and adjust the suspension settings to cope with the wet track conditions. This took nearly three minutes, whilst the rest of the field was changing bike in around a 30 second average time. The delay drew Barbera to the back of the field at the finish line.

Barbera said afterwards, “There are mixed feelings because I’m happy with the bike as I have a good feeling about it. But I was frustrated by all the problems we had. We had a race involving a bike change just when we only had one machine. It was a gamble for us.”

“I always say that this is a sport in which the conditions are the same for everyone, if it rains it is the same for everyone, if there are mixed conditions it also the same for everyone. We had the disadvantage of having a single bike, but we decided on this and we knew it could happen. I never ride well when the track is half dry, half wet and that’s how it was early in the race. I’ll take the positives from the weekend. We have a competitive bike and the team has done an amazing job at a difficult time.”

MotoGP, 2014, GRAN PREMIO MOVISTAR DE ARAGÓN, Hector Barbera, Avintia Racing

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