Barbera Lines Up Tenth For Estoril GP
There was a subdued start to the second day of practice at the Grand Prix of Portugal this morning as the majority of riders opted to stay in their pit boxes as damp conditions restricted any useful track time during the first half of the morning session. Things were back to normal in the afternoon when a dry track played host to qualifying practice, with Marco Simoncelli continuing his dominance from free practice before a crash late in the session. That left Jorge Lorenzo free to take pole position although he was made to sweat by Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner, who made strong late challenges that eventually faded in the final sector and left them positioned behind the Spaniard and the Italian on tomorrow’s grid.
MAPFRE Aspar rider Héctor Barberá was one of several riders who took their time before taking to the track this morning, heading out for the final twenty minutes of the session on slick tyres despite damp areas on the track. Whilst it was drier in the afternoon it was still slippery and the young Spaniard struggled to establish a good feeling with his tyres. However, he made a crucial step forward in the final couple of laps to move into the top ten, finishing up tenth fastest for the second consecutive day and just over a second off pole – the second highest Ducati on the grid.
10th Héctor Barberá 1.38.363 (27 laps):
“We hardly touched the bike set-up today because our feeling yesterday was so good. The only thing we’re not sure about is rear tyre choice. The bike is moving around quite a lot on the soft option but I can feel even the tiniest bump on the track with the hard option. We lost a lot of time trying to sort this but even so it was a positive day. I qualified tenth, a little over a second off pole, so on one hand I am quite happy but on the other I’m annoyed because another three tenths would have put me on the second row. The important thing is that I felt comfortable at the end of the session and more or less we have worked out our tyre choice for tomorrow. Now we just need to wait on the weather. The track conditions were quite unstable today and there was a damp patch in turn one that was costing me three tenths.”
-source: team aspar