Hector Barbera: “We Should Be Competitive Whatever The Weather”
The MotoGP riders had to contend with every condition imaginable today, with wind, rain and cold hampering their progress in the final free practice and qualifying sessions for the Grand Prix of Valencia. Despite this being a short track at just 4.005km the conditions led to significant disparity in the lap times today although the one thing that stayed constant was the dominance of Casey Stoner, who looks certain to make a break in tomorrow’s race. The Australian set a pole time that was a second clear of his nearest rival although the fight behind him promises to be close, with all the riders looking to pay homage to Marco Simoncelli and the likes of Rossi, Barberá or Bautista all capable of springing a surprise.
MAPFRE Aspar rider Héctor Barberá battled the elements and ongoing pain in his injured collarbone to secure a place on the third row of the grid with the ninth fastest qualifying time. An engine breakdown early in the session saw him return to pit for his second bike and even though it was not set-up as he preferred he made gradual progress and then a late push to move up the order. Héctor plans to dial in his favoured set-up for tomorrow and is confident it can take him to a good result.
9th Héctor Barberá 1.34.186 (22 laps):
“We had an engine problem on the third lap this afternoon and had to switch to the second bike. I wasn’t happy with the set-up but had to adapt as well as I could because there wasn’t the time to change anything. I wasn’t comfortable but I managed to qualify ninth. This evening we have plenty of time to get the bike dialled in the way we know it works and then we can have a good warm-up tomorrow. To qualify ninth under the circumstances is positive and I am sure we can do even better tomorrow. If the conditions are the same as today it could be a crazy race but we should be competitive whatever the weather.”
Source: Aspar Media