Moto2: Barbera steps down to fight for title

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Hector Barbera has admitted that his step down to the Moto2 class for 2018 is so that he can once again return to challenging for race wins and the championship after eight seasons in the MotoGP series where the Spaniard’s best result has been a solidarity fourth place, with his last podium coming back in 2009 when he won the Valencia 250 race.

But, announcing that the new deal with the Pons Racing team in Moto2 for next season, he’s confident that he can make a return to the top step before too long.

"From the first year I arrived in the World Championship I have always been fighting to win races, achieving two runners-up, but after eight years in MotoGP the goals have not been achieved, as it is a championship in which more means are needed beyond the rider. When I saw the opportunity to return to Sito Pons team I did not think it. Together we were second in the overall world standings, winning several races and I think I'm in the moment to risk and make such a decision. I am very excited and I have the motivation to start this new project.

“I also want to thank Avintia Racing who facilitated the termination of the contract. The goal is none other than to fight to win races and the championship. It will not be easy but I am at my best: I have the experience, I am physically and mentally prepared, and both Sito and his technical team, led by Santi, can give me what it takes to achieve it. Grateful to Sito and the sponsors for the trust placed in me and I want to return it with results."

He’ll be joined at the squad by Italian Lorenzo Baldassarri, with the current Forward Racing frontrunner keen to make the transition to the new squad.

"I am very happy to be part of the Pons HP 40 team for the next season and I want to thank Sito Pons and VR46 for their confidence in this new opportunity in my sports career. I don’t see the time to start working together, but before I have to focus in my current team, give the maximum and finish the year achieving the best possible results."

And while Baldassarri has had an up and down season so far in 2017, team boss and multiple world champion Sito Pons says they’ve had their eye on the VR46 Academy rider for a while.

"I am very happy with the calibre of our team for the next season. Welcoming Héctor Barberá back in the team a great news. He’s a very fast rider who has fought at the highest levels, knows the team and I am sure we will be able to aim high in the championship. With regards to Baldassarri, we’ve been following him closely and we are extremely happy to have him in the team. Despite his young age, he stands out for being very constant, talented and for avoiding mistakes - paramount in such a competitive category such as Moto2. I am sure that both riders will impress us from the beginning."

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer