Héctor Barberá Opens Home Grand Prix With Twelfth Best Practice Time
MAPFRE Aspar rider devotes opening day in Valencia to electronic experimentation, with further changes to be made on Saturday
The conditions for MotoGP practice followed the same theme as for the 125cc riders: A wet track, ample opportunity to make a mistake and grey clouds in the sky. There were plenty of crashes in the premier class, and the wet asphalt also led to some changes to the established order in the standings. All riders were immensely motivated to start the Valencia GP in strong fashion, in order to pay homage to the late Marco Simoncelli. The afternoon session was a more positive one for Ducati, who had several of their riders high up on the timesheet. However, Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa were the two quickest of day one. Saturday will further clarify the true state of affairs ahead of the final 800cc race.
Today was a day of adaptation for Héctor Barberá at the Ricardo Tormo circuit. The MAPFRE Aspar rider –still recovering from injuries suffered at the Japanese GP- was cautious about riding in the wet. His workload was focused on electronics, with a few changes to the settings proving fruitless. The Spaniard continued to try things out, however, and gradually found his way at his home track. Despite the modifications not working out, he ended the day with the twelfth best time of the MotoGP field, 1.4 seconds off the top spot. Héctor will be working in a different direction tomorrow, aiming to place well in the qualifying session.
12th Héctor Barberá 1.46.967 (29 laps): “The positive part of the day was that physically I feel a lot better than in Malaysia. It’s true that wet conditions are less demanding physically, but I haven’t had too many problems just yet. We tried out some electronic modifications today, and they didn’t end up working out. We had good results when we tried the same changes in Malaysia, but maybe the water on the track meant that there wasn’t the response that we wanted. We will take another step back to look at the big picture tomorrow, as we know what we want and I am sure that we can make a significant improvement. Because we focused on electronics today, we left the chassis set-up a bit on the backburner. It’s only Friday, so we still have all day tomorrow in which to improve.”