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Hector Barbera (Reale Avintia Racing) and teammate Loris Baz fought it out in the final laps of the Spanish GP, with the home crowd coming out on top as Barbera crossed the line just ahead in P12. Both enjoying the fight and happy to finish and score points, the race was a positive overall after some difficulties throughout the weekend:
Hector Barbera: "We could say that in the race we have taken a small step forward. The most important thing of the weekend and, what I leave with, is that I have begun to feel the bike and to have some sensations with the front, which has helped my confidence. I think we are slowly finding the way with the change we made from Friday to Saturday. We changed my position on the bike to load more weight ahead and feel the wheel better and now I'm more comfortable. Two races ago it was impossible for me to follow Redding, or even my teammate Loris, and today I did the whole race with them. The last laps with Loris have been very nice, I like to fight with him, because although with your teammate you always have to be more careful, it has been a lot of fun."
Loris Baz: "We knew it was going to be a very complicated race because we did not find anything in Warm Up and we went back to yesterday's set-up. I was surprised in the first eleven laps because the bike was going well, but when some riders started to fall and have had a couple of scares from the front, I saved a crash. But in the last five laps I didn’t have anything left, first Scott passed me and then I had a good battle with Hector. Some overtaking was a bit close, but it was a lot of fun. It's a shame we did not finish higher, but here the most important thing was to finish the race on the bike."
After the showdown on Sunday it was back on track on Monday for testing, with both riders happy with the outcome of the extra time on track. Barbera was P8 with a late dash and adjusted set and footpeg position, Baz equally improving on one of his last laps and ending the day in nineteenth – with some big solutions found ahead of his home race in Le Mans.
Hector Barbera: "I'm leaving Jerez very happy. We have worked in the right direction to recover my sensations and to find myself comfortable on the bike. In the end I rode a soft tyre and I did the best lap of my life in this circuit. The feeling is back and that is the best news from this test. Maybe we are not yet 100% but we are close and this makes me very optimistic. We have tried the front tyre that Michelin has brought here and I liked it a lot, but the most important thing has been the changes of position on the bike.”
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Rider reactions from the #SpanishGP test
Loris Baz: "We have worked quite well, especially when the temperature began to rise and with the tyres we used yesterday in the race. We found a solution to the problems we had over the weekend. We also tested the front tyre that Michelin brought, but I didn’t like it very much, I don’t have the same 'feeling' as with this year's. Overall it was a very positive test day and I'm leaving Jerez much happier than I finished the race yesterday. Now we have to get ready for Le Mans, my home race."
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