Another rain shower that came down over Phillip Island stopped just before the start of the MotoGP race and the sun was shining for the 24-lap Australian Grand Prix. But although Reale Avintia Racing riders Loris Baz and Hector Barbera were confident about scoring a strong result, they lost all hopes before completing half the race distance.
Loris Baz had a great start from 17th place of the grid, but while fighting in a big group with Lorenzo, Pedrosa, Abraham, Petrucci and Redding, he was touched by another rider and lost precious time that he could not recover in the remainder of the race. He tried his best, but stressed his rear tyre too much, lost grip and finished the race in 18th position.
For his teammate Hector Barbera, who was 19th on the grid, the race was even tougher. The Spaniard was missing rear grip from the second lap and although he cut the power using a different engine mapping, he was not able to put up a fight and finished in 20th place.
Reale Avintia Racing heads now to Malaysia for the last of three consecutive race weekends, held at the Sepang International Circuit.
“It was a difficult race because we changed many things on the bike. I was able to make a good start and I was in the group with Karel (Abraham), Jorge (Lorenzo) and the others during the first few laps, where I had a really good feeling. I tried to save the tyres, but at the same time I was attacking to defend myself in that group. But then Scott Redding passed me twice and on the second occasion, he took me out and I lost contact with the group. I tried to push hard to get back, but it was impossible. I also think that I overheated the rear tyre because at the end I had no grip. Nevertheless, I finished another race and now we already thinking of Malaysia.”
“This was a strange race. On the first lap I was okay, but I think that something happened with my rear tyre, because from the second lap until the end I was sliding everywhere. I tried to change the engine mappings, but the lack of traction remained the same. Together with Michelin, we have to analyse what happened because the tyre seamed to be new after the race, which was strange. It’s a shame because I had good feeling after my strong pace in FP4 yesterday and I was hoping to score some points. Now we fly to Sepang where I expect to finish the triple with a good result for the team.”