MAPFRE Aspar press release
Brave Barbera Qualifies Fourteenth At Sepang
MAPFRE Aspar fights pain in arms and ribs to qualifying for a race he is determined to finish
Intense heat proved to be the main obstacle for the MotoGP riders at Sepang today as they made their final preparations for one of the toughest races of the season. Even newly crowned MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner struggled to maintain his pace, giving his team-mate Dani Pedrosa the opportunity to snatch pole by just 0.029 seconds. With Andrea Dovizioso also on the front row it is hard to envisage a podium that doesn't feature all three Honda riders tomorrow.
There is plenty of optimism in the MAPFRE Aspar garage, however, with a determined Héctor Barberá defying the odds today to set some competitive lap times despite intense pain. The Spaniard suffered discomfort in his arms today, adding to the pain he was already suffering in his ribs and shoulder, but after fighting his way through seventeen tough laps he will line up fourteenth for a race he simply hopes to finish.
14th Héctor Barberá 2.03.619 (17 laps): “Today was another tough one physically because I am still only around 60% fit. I hardly have any strength at all in my left arm so it is like riding one-handed. I had an injection but we couldn't quite pin down the pain so it was hard to get a single good lap together. The actual collarbone is not a problem thanks to the perfect surgery and rehab I benefitted from. Hopefully I can be a bit stronger tomorrow and if we can pinpoint the cause of the pain it will be easier to anaesthetise it. We have come to Malaysia to fight and we will not give up easily. The objective is to go out and race tomorrow and finish as high up the order as we can.”