MAPFRE Aspar press release
Heavy Crash For Héctor Barberá At Japanese Grand Prix
MAPFRE Aspar rider taken from Motegi circuit to Utsunonmiya, where he has been diagnosed with a fractured right collarbone
Early crashes, run-offs, ride-throughs and jump starts… The Japanese GP at Motegi had it all in the headline attraction. It had looked as if Casey Stoner was going to run away with the race, with an advantage of almost 1.5 seconds on the opening two laps, but he came unstuck on the fifth time around the Motegi circuit. With Andrea Dovizioso in pursuit, the World Championship leader ran wide on the straight and the Italian was able to get past. However, Dovizioso was one of three riders penalized for jumping the start, and thus had to relinquish the lead to Dani Pedrosa when he came into pit lane to serve his sentence. Previously, Valentino Rossi and Ben Spies had been involved in an incident that left Rossi out of the race. Pedrosa won, followed by Jorge Lorenzo and with Stoner in third. Crashes for Barberá, Bautista and Elías reduced the number of finishers by a further three.
Héctor Barberá was looking to continue his strong run of form from previous races, and was able to repeat his best qualifying performance of sixth (taken at Jerez) for the Japanese GP. Motegi has never been a favourite track for the MAPFRE Aspar rider, as in 2008 he suffered a big crash that ruled him out of action for a short period of the season. Three years later, Japan was once again the scene of misfortune for Barberá.
Starting well, he completed lap one in ninth position. It was a position upon which to build, but on his twelfth turn of the circuit he lost the front end of his bike and hit the ground hard. Having lost consciousness, Barberá was taken to the circuit hospital, where the doctors decided to airlift him to the Dokkyo hospital in Mibu (near Utsunomiya). Barberá had suffered a hard blow to the next, and a CAT scan revealed that he had also fractured his right collarbone. Currently in recovery, the initial signs are that he will require a stay in the hospital for between 24 and 48 hours.