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9 days ago
By motogp.com

Barbera in for Iannone, Mike Jones debuts at Avintia

Spaniard in for the Italian at Ducati Team as Australian Superbike rider Mike Jones heads north on a last minute call up

After announcing on Monday that Andrea Iannone would not be racing at the Twin Ring Motegi as he recovers from damaging a vertebra in Misano, it will be Avintia Racing rider Hector Barbera who steps into the temporarily vacant seat alongside Andrea Dovizioso at the Ducati Team - getting his first taste of the Desmosedici GP 2016.

Hector Barbera: “I’m very happy because I’ve waited a long time for an opportunity like this and this weekend it becomes reality. The first thing I want to do is thank Avintia and all our sponsors for making this possible, because without their support it would not be a reality. I’m excited, motivated and want to do well – but until I get on the bike tomorrow I don’t think I’m going to believe it! Now I’m doing interviews and all the things that come with being a factory rider, but I feel like a kid at Christmas, although it’s becoming more real. I’m sure it’s going to be a special weekend and I hope I can do my best.”

At Avintia, Australian Superbike rider Mike Jones will be stepping in as Barbera’s replacement, switching his Panigale for the Desmosedici in his first experience of MotoGP™ - after also taking part in the opening WorldSBK Round of 2016 at home in Phillip Island, racing support races in Australian Superbike as well as wildcarding World Superbike in the same weekend.

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