Hector Takes Excellent 6th In Race Of Attrition
The Spanish MotoGP round in Jerez always provides excitement, and the 2011 edition was no exception. Rain provided uncertainty for the MotoGP riders, with tricky track conditions to contend with throughout the race. Nine riders fell victim to crashes, a figure nearly half of the current grid. Stoner took off strongly at the start, but couldn’t escape. Lorenzo, Simoncelli and Rossi latched onto the Australian and made it a four-way battle, until Rossi made an ill-advised move and took Stoner to the ground with him. Rossi continued, Stoner was out, and Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa made it a Spanish one-two in a great race. Ducati rider Nicky Hayden rounded off the podium places.
Héctor Barberá adapted well to the change in conditions at the Circuito de Jerez, and was one of the riders to stay upright. The MAPFRE Aspar rider had not felt truly comfortable in practice, and had qualified thirteenth on Saturday. The condition of the track as the race started was a great unknown, and from lap five the Spaniard realised that the surface was extremely slippery. That meant exercising caution rather than risking a crash, although some of his rivals didn’t use the same strategy. There were many crashes, but Barberá gradually moved up the order and crossed the line in sixth. It was his best finish in the premier class, and a bright note on a strange weekend.
The next MotoGP race, round three, takes place in Portugal in three weeks time.
6th Héctor Barberá: “We had a very strange race today. After five laps I realised that the bike couldn’t have slid about more if I had tried. I knew that the wet conditions would be a handicap, and the asphalt had very little grip. I decided to brave it out and try to use my skill to keep upright. I thing that it was the weirdest race of my life, and I was able to get my best result in MotoGP. I don’t really know how to express how I feel, but I am happy. This result is going to be very good for us, and it is a morale boost for us in a weekend that hadn’t gone quite as we had hoped. Maybe I didn’t ride as fast as I had intended, but seeing so many riders hit the deck made me think that it was better to be prudent. I suppose the majority of us riders thought the same. I feel comfortable with the way I am riding, and it is the first time that I have felt so good in the wet as a MotoGP rider.”