Avintia Racing matched its best result in the team’s history today at the Malaysian Grand Prix, with Héctor Barberá in fourth and his team-mate Loris Baz in fifth place. Just before the start, another tropical storm came down over the Sepang track and it rained so heavily that the MotoGP start had to be delayed by 15 minutes. For the Avintia riders, the water on the track was good news, because after their great performances in qualifying on Saturday, both Héctor Barberá and Loris Baz preferred to have a wet race. After a cautious start, the Avintia Racing riders started to pass other riders and recover positions, with Baz leading the pair. But when the amount of water on the tarmac got less in the closing stages of the race, Barberá got stronger, took advantage of the changing conditions and went ahead of his team-mate to cross the finish line in fourth place. It was his best result since his MotoGP debut in 2010.
Loris Baz, who had the roles reversed and been fourth ahead of Barberá at the Czech Republic Grand Prix back in August, finished the race in fifth place. Even though he dropped behind Barberá, this result is worth gold for the Frenchman, who had struggled for a number of races to find back to his confidence, which he had lost due to several injuries.
The overseas triple of races offered everything for Team Avintia Racing, from Barberá’s adventure riding the official Ducati to the remarkable MotoGP debut of Mike jones and the joy of all team members with this fantastic result at Sepang. There is no better way for Barberá to return to Spain, where he will go into the final race of the season at Valencia with extra motivation.
HÉCTOR BARBERÁ #8 P4
“I’m really happy because this fourth place is incredible and also my best result in MotoGP ever. After two difficult races in Japan and Australia I really needed this result to get a boost of confidence and energy before my home race in Valencia. There is no doubt that this result came in the right moment. But although I’m very happy for myself, I’m also extremely happy for my teammate Loris, because he needed it even more than me. This result is fantastic for the whole team. We are showing this season that with hard work, big efforts and huge passion you can achieve important things. Avintia is the best example, because we don’t have the resources of many teams, but in passion we are world champions. We are in the top ten after 17 races, ahead of many factory bikes, and we go to Valencia determined to give our best again to close this fantastic season with the best possible result.”
LORIS BAZ #76 P5
“Before the race I was praying for rain, because the last three weeks have been really tough for me. After this weekend, we go back home with a big smile on our faces. If we look at the dry track time I’ve spent this year riding my bike, it is obvious that I’m far away from the pace, so I needed some confidence and you can only get that fighting and working hard every single day. But this result is what we were looking for to get a boost of morale and work even harder. This has been a really good race and I enjoyed battling with Hector. It was also an amazing result for the team. The race was difficult because with less water on the track my rear tyre was overheating, so this top five is fantastic. Valencia is my team’s home race and feels also like a home race to me as I have a house close to the circuit, so we will try to keep the momentum and fight for the best.”