Lack of rear grip relegates Barbera to 12th in season opener
In the unpredictable world of MotoGP, it was almost a surprise that things began so according to the script in Qatar. All three polemen took the victory on raceday in their respective categories, taking the lead of the 125cc, Moto2 and MotoGP standings after race one of the year. Casey Stoner -always the man to beat at Losail- rounded things off in the premier class. The pressure of teammate Pedrosa at the start of the race failed to distract the Australian, and he dispatched reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo with similar ease later on. Another triumph in the desert for Stoner, with his two Spanish rivals joining him on the podium.
MAPFRE Aspar rider Héctor Barberá was beginning his sophomore season in MotoGP, and had a tough time of things handling his Ducati on raceday. He made a strong start, keeping the sixth position that he had earned on Saturday in qualifying when the lights went out. He held onto the place for two laps, before a rear grip issue took hold and things got more complicated for the Spaniard. Losing feeling on a slippery track, Barberá had to turn his attention to avoiding slides on the corners, instead of chasing down fellow riders. It was a constant struggle, but he was able to finish the first race of the season in twelfth. The opening aperitif out of the way, Barberá will look to get his teeth into the top ten in two weeks time, when the championship heads to Jerez in Spain.
12th Héctor Barberá: “It was a difficult race for us. I wasn’t riding comfortably right from the start, and I had realised that the bike wasn’t working entirely as it had been yesterday. I had noted this in the warmup. I didn’t understand what had happened, but all I knew was that there was no rear grip. I had to hold off the gas, because if I went into the corners at speed then I would slide about. It made me angry that all my braking points were changing about, and I wasn’t able to ride the same way that I had done all weekend. We are looking at the origin of this problem, and the telemetry shows that the bike wasn’t performing like it had done this weekend. We shouldn’t get too down about it, because we just had some bad luck that is sure to change for the better in Jerez. I will look on the bright side; we were doing very well over the past few days and are gradually finding the way to go this season.”
Source: Mapfre Aspar Team