Reale Avintia Racing celebrated its best results of the 2017 MotoGP World Championship in Barcelona today, with Hector Barberá marking his 250th GP appearance in ninth and Loris Baz twelfth.
The 25-lap race proved to be a physically demanding and hard race run under scorching temperatures, with track temperatures soaring to over 50 degrees.
Héctor Barberá started from the second row of the grid in sixth but he had to produce several brilliant overtakes after losing some places in the first laps.
He set a fast and consistent pace and he was able to fight his way back into the top 10 when he started an intense late battle with World Championship leader Maverick Viñales. A brilliant attacking last lap from Barbera secured him ninth position, which was his first top 10 of the season and the perfect way to celebrate becoming the youngest rider in history to make 250 Grand Prix appearances.
His teammate Loris Baz finished twelfth in a very tough race where he had to fight against the extreme heat and some physical issues with his right arm. Demonstrating his usual strong mental focus, the Reale Avintia French rider was rewarded with four championship points.
Following two races in a row at Mugello and Barcelona, the MotoGP World Championship takes a break before resuming the action in two weeks at the Dutch TT in Assen.
“I am very happy because the start of the season has been very chaotic,but today we have finally been able to demonstrate that we are competitive again. We must forget the first races and continue in this way. Today we started the race in sixth position and we finished ninth. And it was a very tough race with so much heat. At the beginning, Zarco was very strong in the chicane and he took me off the track and I lost contact with the group. It’s a shame because if we had been there we could have done a little more. But we are getting closer and we are more competitive. I am adapting more my style to this bike because it has been very hard and that’s why I’m training really hard off the track. In the last races we were already better and we were not able to confirm it, but today we have finally got back to the ‘Top 10’. Now we have to keep this momentum in Assen and Sachsenring.”
“It was a tough race. The start was not good, I had a strange feeling with the clutch and I could not gain any places. In the first few laps I passed Abraham, Rabat and Iannone, who were slower. And then I tried to save my tyres when I was behind Viñales. But it was not enough because in the end I didn’t have any grip. I have also had a problem with the front brake. It became very hard and with the problem that I have in my arms, I was exhausted at the end of the race. I think that today it was not possible to do much more but until the last third of the race I was very close to the group of Hector, Viñales and Crutchlow. If I didn’t have to slow down at the end it might have been an even better result. The positive thing is that we have scored more points and hope to do better in Assen.”