Avintia Ducati rider Hector Barbera says he’s expecting to come into this weekend’s Dutch TT at Assen stronger than ever, after both finding more from the Ducati GP14 package during testing and by being able to concentrate in his fitness in recent weeks.
One of a number of riders complaining about a lack of time in the gym thanks to MotoGP’s hectic schedule of late, the Spaniard says he’s feeling fitter than ever. And, combined with progress at the test following the last round of the championship in Catalunya, he’s looking for a good weekend in the Netherlands.
“The Monday test at Catalunya was good for us. We worked in the electronics, but we also tested some new Michelin tyres that I really liked. I hope they bring them the next races as these tyres could help us to get closer.
“I also did some hard training with my bicycle in the last two weeks, so I’ll be strong at Assen. I like the track and I love the fast sectors. Last year I was the best Open in qualifying, but then someone blew me out of the track in the first lap, so I’m looking forward to complete the race this season.”
On the other side of the Avintia garage, Ducati test rider Michele Pirro once again sits in for the injured Loris Baz – and says he’s relishing the opportunity to return to a track he enjoys.
“I’m really happy to race again for Avintia Racing, but at the same time sad for Loris, so I hope he gets well soon. I’ll have the chance to do more kilometres with the GP14 and we’ll work from the base we built at Barcelona. I like Assen, although my last race there was two years ago.
“But I’m confident on improving our performance from Barcelona, where the rear tyre dropped down a lot and we were not able to get the best of the bike. I also want to thank Ducati for letting me race at Assen.”