Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hector Barbera

Héctor Barberá Vall (born November 2, 1986 in Dos Aguas, Valencia Province) is a Spanish Grand Prix motorcycle road racer competing in the MotoGP class aboard an Aspar Racing Team Ducati. Hector began his World Championship career at the age of 15 in the 2002 125cc world championship, under the guidance of Jorge Martínez "Aspar", who teamed Barberá and fellow youngster Angel Rodríguez up with the experienced Pablo Nieto. In his first season Barberá established himself as the most promising rider of the three and in 2003 he broke through, with his first victory at Donington Park making him one of the youngest riders ever to win a Grand Prix. A strong finish to the season saw him take third place in the championship and he signed up for a title challenge with Seedorf Racing in 2003. Several inopportune crashes and mechanical failures derailed his hopes but victory in the final race secured the runner-up spot and a factory ride with Fortuna Honda in the 250cc class for 2005. After two years with the team he moved to Team Toth in 2007. Barberá survived a huge crash during the Italian round of the championship on June 1, 2008. Running second behind Marco Simoncelli on the penultimate lap who tried to defend his lead by changing his line on the straight, Barberá slipstreamed onto Simoncelli's back wheel and clipped it with his front brake lever. His bike somersaulted through the air, with Barberá escaping somewhat uninjured. However, a further crash in practice at Motegi left him with two spinal fractures, ending his season. In the 2009 250cc world championship, Barberá won three races along with five other podium results to finish second to Honda's Hiroshi Aoyama. Barberá won the 2009 Valencia Grand Prix, the final two-stroke, 250cc race in Grand Prix history, as the class was to be discontinued in favor of the four-stroke Moto2 class in 2010. On 20 August 2009 it was announced Barberá would move to MotoGP in 2010, riding for the Aspar Racing Team aboard Ducati customer bikes. Barberá finished the 2010 MotoGP season in twelfth place.


Jorge ‘Aspar’ Martinez has confirmed Hector Barbera will spearhead his first assault on the MotoGP world championship in 2010. Following Alvaro Bautista’s move to Suzuki’s factory MotoGP squad, Martinez moved quickly to tie up a deal for Barbera while he was in negotiation with the Tech 3 Yamaha squad. Barbera, who currently sits fourth in the 250GP world championship and has won eight GP races in his career, said: “I am very happy to be going to MotoGP, as to do so is the dream of every rider in the world. As a Valencian rider I am especially drawn to the idea of working in the Aspar Team project. "Right now the Ducati is a very competitive bike; the factory won the world championship two years ago and the team and myself have a strong desire to do well. The goal for the first season in the premier class will be to adapt to the new bike and team as soon as possible -in order to get the best results possible. "Now I am going to focus on finishing this season, in which I have six races to go, and when the year is over we will begin work on the new project." Martinez, who was desperate to clinch a deal with current 250GP rider and title contender Bautista, said: “It is undoubtedly great news for us to have signed Hector, especially because of our long history together. "In our previous association we won the Spanish championship and various 125GPs, and I am convinced that we can have further success with this project. I am sure that next year we can get some great results and that this will be a long-term arrangement. "I am hopeful that Hector can become a factory rider, as this will mean that he would have earned some great results with us. For the team it is a dream come true to be able to line up in all three classes, in particular because we do so with a Valencian rider."

Hector Barbera endured a challenging qualifying session at Sepang for the Malaysian MotoGP, which was made worse by a late crash in turn 7. Barbera was unhurt but faces an uphill battle in tomorrow’s race as the crash prevented him from improving his times and forced him into 15th place on the grid. "Once again we have to start from a long way back. We struggled to improved today but the pace in general is very fast. I am only 1.3 seconds off pole yet I find myself in fifteenth place. It is not a big gap around so a long circuit but we have to improve. We took an important step this morning and I felt good but this afternoon didn’t go so well. As in Japan the main problem is rear stability under acceleration. It is a shame because we did improve but just not enough and we have have to find a set-up that makes the bike easier to handle. I tried to make up time under braking on my last lap but left it too late and the front folded.” Team Toth Aprilia rider Hector Barbera has taken provisional pole in a rain-hit qualifying session at Brno. The session started on a slightly damp track, with the majority of the riders choosing to put in their fastest laps before the rain properly started. Debon was fastest early on in the session, but Pasini and Simoncelli beat heis time respectively. Once Simoncelli posted his fastest lap, nobody was able to knock him off of the top spot for the majority of the session. Towards the end of the session Mika Kallio went to the top of the timesheets after having a relatively quiet session, but Hector Barbera put in the fastest lap of the session after he also had a relatively quiet session. On his in lap after his fastest lap Hector Barbera crashed at the same corner as James Toseland.

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