Barbera happy with 7th place and Ducati battle despite rear tyre issue
The 26-lap race of the 2012 Iveco TT Assen Grand Prix started under a blue sky and with blazing sunshine that made a decided change from yesterdays tricky weather conditions. Hèctor Barberà took a deserved top seven finish at the legendary Circuit van Drenthe this afternoon.
The 25-year-old rider from Valencia made the best start of his 2012 MotoGP campaign and he ended the first lap in sixth place, showing phenomenal early confidence to fight with Valentino Rossi, Nicky Hayden and Cal Crutchlow for most of the race. For more than two thirds of the Dutch race, the Spaniard was able to ride his Ducati with strong determination and this great feeling allowed him to maintain an effective race pace, challenging for sixth place.
Unfortunately, on lap 21, during a lively battle unfolding towards a gripping race end and trying to overtake Cal Crutchlow, Hèctor encountered a rear tyre grip issue and he was unable to maintain his consistent pace, finishing in seventh place at the chequered flag. Hèctor adds 9 points to his championship standing and heads to Germany for the Eni Motorrad Grand Prix next weekend brimming with confidence.
Hèctor Barberà - 7th place I felt great, I had a lot of energy and the confidence with my Ducati was real. I had a good feeling with the bike from the first laps and I pushed as much as I could to stay with the group composed by Valentino, Nicky and Cal. We had the same race pace and this allowed me to fight with the group. With five laps to go, I tried to overtake Cal, but I lost the rear grip and from that moment I started to have an issue with the back tyre, losing both my race pace and my confidence. I gritted my teeth until the flag to achieve seventh place and I’m happy and satisfied about the battle with the factory Ducati machines.
Marco Rigamonti - Pramac Racing Track Engineer
Together wWith the Qatar GP today’s race was one of the best rounds of 2012. Hèctor got a brilliant start, staying in the group of riders who had the same race pace and fought for sixth position. It was a shame about the rear tyre issue. Now we need to check our data, to understand when and why the issue started with the rubber, but we will arrive in Germany with high spirits.
Source: Pramac Racing Press Release