Aspar press release
Héctor Barberá secures third row start
The MAPFRE Aspar rider repeated his practice result from yesterday to qualify ninth on the grid for the Grand Prix of Japan.
Ninth place seems to suit Héctor Barberá, who finished in that position after a strong start to free practice yesterday and qualified there today. Despite struggling to get his pace together this morning, he was back on track this afternoon and spent virtually the whole session inside the top ten. Barberá looked set to qualify as the top Ducati but after being overcome by just one colleague from the Italian factory, he is desperate to back up this result with another good performance to match the one from MotorLand two weeks ago.
"With the set-up we have and our position on the grid all that remains to be done is to push hard from the start of the race. We have been fast everywhere this year, the category has moved up a level and all the records are being smashed which is great. In my case I am lapping two seconds per lap quicker and that is the best thing for me - I am finding it easier to improve every time we go out on track. Our objective remains a top six finish and I think we can be close to it tomorrow. We have a pace in the low 1'47s and if the conditions are similar to today we are ready to go to battle."