MAPFRE Aspar press release
Barberá Fights The Pain To Finish Seventeenth
Spaniard returns after collarbone operation but can only manage sixteen laps across two sessions due to rib injuries
A frenetic fortnight for the MotoGP World Championship continued today as the riders took to the Sepang circuit in Malaysia just days after packing away their leathers at Phillip Island, Australia. The most familiar circuit to the premier-class riders due to its role as the main winter testing venue is also the most demanding, with 32ºC ambient temperatures and 61% humidity leaving them on the edge of dehydration. Dani Pedrosa grabbed the headlines today with the fastest time in both free practice sessions, although recently-crowned World Champion Casey Stoner is clearly not in the mood to relax just yet and was second quickest.
For MAPFRE Aspar rider Héctor Barberá today proved to me a more painful return to action than he had hoped, having made a miraculous recovery from a collarbone operation. The Spaniard could only manage five laps this morning due to pain to the rear left side of his ribcage and even though he had painkillers this afternoon he was still in discomfort and could completed just eleven laps more, setting his best time on the eighth. He will undergo treatment tonight in an effort to be in better shape tomorrow for qualifying.
17th Héctor Barberá 2.04.603 (16 laps): “To be honest I am in a lot of discomfort. Hopefully it will improve as the weekend progresses because I can't race like this. I could only manage five laps this morning and it was tough to deal with the pain. I felt a bit better this afternoon but I needed an injection and even then it's tough. I didn't have much feeling on the bike but I guess that's normal. When you are in pain you try to adopt a more comfortable position and that unbalances the bike. I can't load the weight as I would like, I can't be aggressive. I came here because I felt good and the arm was responding well but the big problem is my ribs. I am going to work with the physio tonight to see if I can be in better shape tomorrow. Even though it was a tough day it was good to be back on the bike.”