Avintia Racing started the Japanese Grand Prix with high expectations, as Hector Barbera was rewarded for his good season and rode injured Andrea Iannone’s Desmosedici GP inside the official Ducati Team.
After qualifying eight yesterday, Barbera was aiming at a good result in the race today, but he lost the front in turn one on the ninth lap, when he was fighting with Pol Espargaro for the seventh place.
He picked the bike up and finished the race, but without any options for the point rankings. Next week in Australia he will have another chance to show his potential with the factory team.
Hector Barbera | P17
“For me it was a fantastic opportunity to ride the 2016 Desmosedici GP and race for a factory squad like the Ducati Team and so I want to thank both Ducati and Avintia Racing for giving me this opportunity. For me it was all new: in fact, I didn’t know either the bike or the guys in the team, but after every session the situation improved a lot. Unfortunately in the race I was not able to get a good start, especially because the clutch is very different to the one I normally use, and I immediately lost two positions. I took a bit of time to pass Petrucci and then I caught Pol Espargaro, who I tried to overtake several times, until I tried with even more decision and unfortunately I crashed. I feel bad about it because I think that today I could have finished in fifth or sixth place. In any case I picked the bike up to finish the race, but in the crash the two wings had broken off and I was no longer able to ride it well. However it was a great experience and I am very happy that I have been given another chance next week at Phillip Island.”
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