Battling Barbera Rewarded With Impressive 7th At Mugello
The MotoGP riders were following on from an exciting Moto2 race, and thus had to step up their game to wow the crowd at Mugello. That they did, in a contest that appeared to be heading in the familiar direction of a Casey Stoner runaway victory. The Australian had pulled out a two-second gap at the front, but Jorge Lorenzo and Andre Dovizioso eventually reeled him back in and passed him. Spies and Simoncelli also had an entertaining tussle behind the podium finishers, and Rossi, Barberá and Bautista joined in the excitement. Lorenzo took the lead on lap eighteen and was able to win the race, completing a treble of Spanish wins across the three categories (125cc, Moto2 and MotoGP) in Italy. The next round of the world championship takes place at Sachsenring in Germany.
Hard work is sometimes the only way to escape a tricky situation, and that was the strategy for MAPFRE Aspar rider Héctor Barberá and his crew at Mugello. The previous two rounds of the season had been plagued by problems for the Spaniard, who had not been able to find an adequate setting for his Ducati. A return to basics was conducted in Italy, despite a lack of useful practice time. Progression had been made in qualifying to take him up to tenth on the grid, and on race day Barberá went from strength to strength. Fighting with Edwards, Crutchlow and Bautista for most of the race, he also engaged in battle with home favourite Valentino Rossi. He ended up just behind the Italian, as the second highest placing Ducati rider. He was close to equaling the sixth place taken at Jerez, but seventh with such an impressive ride was almost a more satisfying feat.
7th Héctor Barberá:
“Maybe it wasn’t so in terms of the actual result, but in terms of performance and satisfaction, this was my best race in MotoGP. I rode strongly and worked hard all race to keep my pace up. We came here off the back of two bad races and today we had a bit of luck for once. We tested out a lot of things and this helped us to turn our situation around for this race. The start of the weekend was when we had some problems that we were unable to resolve, but the team worked their hardest once again and took us out of these tough circumstances. The key to our improvement was taking a step back and returning to some settings that we already knew well. The Ducati is a very sensitive bike, so from now on we won’t be trying any radical changes and will keep on a solid path. I had a good fight with Valentino but in the end I wasn’t going to risk things too much. The aim was to enjoy the race and finish it, and we did this with flying colours.”