Good work from Barbera on first day of French GP

 In MotoGP

One of the most historic races on the MotoGP calendar, the Grand Prix de France, got underway this afternoon with the first and only practice session of the opening day. It was the riders’ first opportunity to try their bikes out since a one-day test following the last race at Jerez and verify if the modifications they’d made had worked out. The usual pretenders battled it out for top spot but once again the times throughout the seventeen-rider field were extremely close.

Páginas Amarillas Aspar rider Héctor Barberá was just 1.607 seconds off today’s pacesetter Valentino Rossi, who rode within two tenths of his own lap record here from 2008. Having discovered a more effective chassis configuration for his Ducati at Jerez, the focus of Héctor’s work today was on its engine’s power delivery. After a certain amount of trial and error the Spaniard feels his team have found the right direction to follow, having been able to set a consistent pace that should serve him well for the race.

13th Héctor Barberá 1.36.009 (24 laps): “I felt really comfortable at the start and I was really enjoying myself on the bike – the time went really quickly! Then I came in to pit and we changed the engine set-up a little, dropping the power, and I found it harder to get out of the corners. I came back in to take a step back to what we had before and we ended up turning the power up too far! The chassis-suspension set-up we found at Jerez feels great so it is just a case of working out the power delivery. Even though my best lap came early in the session and I wasn’t able to improve on it my consistency is good and I’m happy. I’d prefer to be higher up the order so we’ll work hard with the bike overnight to try and be closer to the where we want to be tomorrow. With every race I’m realising just how tough this category is and any slight alteration you make to the bike can have massive consequences. You cannot afford to sleep for a second otherwise you lose ground. We worked well today on a hard tyre though so I’m happy with this start to the weekend.”

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