Row five for Barbera after Jerez qualifying

 In MotoGP

The premier class in MotoGP was as competitive as ever in Saturday qualifying for the Grand Prix of Spain, with plenty of home pride up for grabs in a field laden with Spanish talent. The Circuito de Jerez saw the stars giving it their all in the search for pole position, and the MotoGP seventeen were separated by little more than 1.5 seconds for most of the session. In the end, Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo broke slightly away from the remainder of the riders, but the chances of an extremely close race look ever more likely. All will be revealed at 2pm on Sunday afternoon, when the lights go out for the second round of the 2010 MotoGP World Championship.

It was a positive, if not entirely satisfying, day for Héctor Barberá, riding in his first home Grand Prix in the MotoGP category. The Paginas Amarilla Aspar man found a good pace during both the morning practice and afternoon qualifying sessions, but in the end lacked the all-important tenths of a second that would have placed him in the top ten. Lacking full confidence in T2 and T3, Barberá looked for other riders as a reference point with ten minutes remaining on the clock. He found a best time of 1’40.482 as a result, slotting him into fourteenth place on the MotoGP grid. The fifth row isn’t an ideal starting position, but the Valencian rider is confident of a good start and a move up the field as part of a speedy group over the course of the 27 lap race.

Héctor Barberá 1.40.482 (23 laps): “To tell the truth, I’m happy with today’s practice sessions. I got a good time and improved a lot from session to session. I would have liked a little bit more improvement –for example to ride in the 1’39s- but it wasn’t to be. In any case, the team are doing a great job and have helped me a lot throughout the whole weekend so far. The most positive thing is that I took my fastest time on hard rubber, which is the tyre that I will use for the race. On the other hand, I still haven’t been able to get the most out of the softer compound, which is something that I need to improve soon. We are 1.2 seconds off the pole lap, which shows that tomorrow’s race will be very tight and that with a bit of a tow from the riders in front I will be able to climb up the positions. The opening two laps will be vital, so I will try to get a good start and catch the group in front of me. Hopefully they can take me with them to the next level.”

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