Eleventh Place For Héctor Barberá At Home GP
MAPFRE Aspar rider suffers clutch issue in Valencia GP, but finishes final race of 2011
The MotoGP race in Valencia was surprising and strange in equal measures, above all at the end of the thirty-lap contest. Light rain had been a prominent feature of the 125cc and Moto2 races, and the premier class also had to tackle tricky conditions. The field was reduced at turn one of the opening lap, when Bautista brought down Rossi, Hayden and De Puniet as he crashed out. Meanwhile, Stoner was leading from pole and later extended his advantage over Dovizioso and Spies to ten seconds. However, five laps before the finish the rain intensified, and Stoner dropped back. Spies was able to pass the Australian, who fought back at the last possible moment to overtake him on the line. It was the closest finish of the MotoGP era, rivaled only by Rossi-Lorenzo in 2009 and Elías-Rossi in 2006.
MAPFRE Aspar rider Héctor Barberá was only just outside the top ten at the Ricardo Tormo circuit. It was a strong result for the Spaniard, especially when taking into account the setbacks that he suffered along the way. Barberá was right behind the first lap pile-up, and soon after experienced difficulties of his own when his clutch loosened. This led to him dropping off from the group ahead. Never one to throw in the towel, he continued and completed the thirty-lap race as best he could. Eleventh place was a praiseworthy result for the Valencian in such conditions.
11th Héctor Barberá: “Today was a tough race for me, because of the track conditions and because of my collarbone and rib injuries which have still not fully healed. I also had a loose clutch on the opening couple of laps, which only added to my problems. I had to ease off the clutch very gradually, and every gear change was very brusque. That was another factor that impeded my ability to ride at my best. I am disappointed, because I wanted a good result at home. The position wasn’t really important, but I wanted to enjoy myself and I ended up riding more or less by myself. I have had a lot of positive times this season, and other times in which things haven’t gone my way –like with the injury. I prefer to focus on the positives, and this season I have continued to learn a lot about the premier class. Despite all the ups and downs, this has been a gratifying year in which we saw how –with hard work- you can get to where we want to be.”