Barbera again fastest Ducati rider, starts Qatar GP from second row
The MotoGP class had just one practice session to contend this evening but it was the most important one ahead of the race, as grid positions were decided and the first pole of the season was contested. The absence of Alvaro Bautista, injured yesterday, was felt keenly amongst his colleagues. An open battle for provisional pole took place at the start of the session but the weekend’s standout riders Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa confirmed their form at the end, the Australian sealing the front spot on the grid ahead of his team-mate.
MAPFRE Aspar rider Héctor Barberá continued on an upward curve and he is keen to confirm his excellent start to the new campaign in tomorrow’s race. Héctor was matching his best times from yesterday just fifteen minutes into this evening’s session, making only minor changes to his bike. With four minutes left an effort of 1’55.223 improved his best lap from yesterday by a second and sealed a second row start for the opening race of the 2011 campaign. As he has been every day so far at this Grand Prix the Spaniard was the fastest Ducati rider on track and heading the top speed chart (329.8km/h).
6th Héctor Barberá 1.55.223 (25 laps): “I am really happy because at the first round of the season I have already equalled my best grid from the whole of last year. We are pretty close to third place and after a long and hard winter, wth all the sacrifices we have to make, it has all been worthwhile. We have done well in each session so far but the only one that counts is tomorrow. Our race pace is in the low 1’56s and all being well tomorrow that should see us inside the top eight, which would be a good result. I think I have a great bike and we are ready. The only doubt is over tyre choice but we’ll probably go for the harder option. I guess there’ll be a group from fourth place down to ninth and I hope to be in it. We will need to make a strong start and push hard for the first few laps to stay in there.”
Source: Mapfre Aspar Team