Author: Sienna Wedes

Title: Hector Barbera confident of top five results in 2017

Avintia Racing’s Hector Barbera arrived in Sepang with high hopes, as he believes the bike he has is the best he’s had to date. With this package Hector Barbera has the confidence that 2017 is going to be a season where he can continue to compete with the top guys. This test has been all about learning and adjusting the bike to ensure he has an ideal set up for his own style and to fix certain issues that inhibit him from continuing to make good progress.

Q: Prior to Sepang you did 2 tests with the new bike, what were your feelings like after this? Did it meet your expectations?

This bike I tried last year in Japan and Australia. It is a similar bike; it’s not the same. But I understand in these two races they are very different from the last bike. I like too much because it has very good power. The chassis is very good, I like because in the corner it is turning better. But in Valencia after the race it is not the same bike now because the suspension and brakes is different. Now, after Jerez finishing the season from last year, now arrive here after two months of not riding any bike. My feeling here yesterday is good but I have a little bit of a problem with the shifter and also I need to find my best set up. At the moment I don’t have a very good confidence with the bike, especially the rear because the grip is not so good. But anyway I am happy because I don’t push for first lap but my first lap was not so bad.

Q: In terms of the new Michelin tyre that’s been allocated, has it given you confidence?

Yes, at the moment yes. But I haven’t tried because at the moment I ride yesterday with the last Michelin not the new. So the plan for the next few days is to try the new one. I didn’t use the soft one yesterday; I use the old tyre to work on the bike. Maybe in the next two days, depending on the weather. I will try the new one.

Q: With the ban on the winglets, did you notice a drastic difference?

I tried the wings last season in Australia and Japan. I think with the wings it’s possible to put inside more power especially in acceleration. But at the moment it’s not possible, I think it’s a little bit different now. It’s more necessary to use the breaking; the rear breaking but for the last lap it is the same.

Q: Do you think the removal of the winglets allows Avintia to try and move their way up the ranks? 

Maybe, maybe. I don’t know really because I only used them during two races. Maybe it’s better with wings. But after the ban and not using them when we arrive here I think your head is not thinking about the wings not for me maybe for other riders. Maybe Ducati factory is better with the wings but I think maybe. Maybe Dovizioso with the wings, I think just this rider because maybe its new riders. Lorenzo didn’t try these wings also I didn’t use them last season and neither did Bautista. I think Dovizioso maybe in some track think more of the wings.

Q: What did you do during the off-season to prepare for Sepang? 

I think I worked too much in the gym last season for muscle. Last season I finished in 62kg, this season 65kg. The last season I was much faster, training a lot with the bicycle. This season is medium bicycle, medium gym. I think I have more power to go faster.

Q: How to you plan on achieving your goal of consistent top 5 finishes?

I think this season this is my best bike since I arrived in MotoGP. The last season I finished 4th position, 5th position, and 6th position with a bike two years old. But I think I have possibilities this year because the team has a lot of experience. The bike is better, I am ready. I think it is possible to stay in the 6th, 5th, 4th, 7th. I want to stay there.

Q: How do you explain those results, being able to challenge higher up after tough seasons?

I don’t know, I think I have a lot of experience over 16 years in MotoGP. It’s too many years *laughs*. I think this Michelin tyre allows me to adapt more of my style and the last bike and season I had a bike two years old but the bike is not so bad. It’s also my best bike in MotoGP the last season. I think I put it all in to get a good result.

Q: Has that improved your mindset and your hunger in MotoGP to constantly do better?

Yes, yes of course because now I have by best opportunity. I want my best results. I think of the podium now because I have a very good bike. The last season this bike, I was winning in two races. Maybe the private team is more difficult but the bike is not so bad. I think this winter I have trained very well. I’m ready, I ready.

Credit: Deborah Wedes

Credit: Deborah Wedes

Credit: Patrick Wedes

Credit: Patrick Wedes

Credit: Patrick Wedes

About The Author

Sienna Wedes
PR Communications

Sienna manages all FORMULA Magazine social media platforms covering news on a daily basis with higher emphasis during MotoGP rounds. She coordinates specific interviews with race engineers and chief mechanics. Growing up in a motorsport family Sienna understands the sport and what the supporters and fans enjoy.