Avintia Ducati rider Hector Barbera will be rewarded for his strong season of results so far in 2016 this weekend at Motegi, as he gets a one-round promotion to the factory team to replace the injured Andrea Iannone.
With the Italian still injured from his Misano crash and normal Ducati replacement Michele Pirro busy at Valencia testing the new 2017 machine for the Bologna firm, Barbera will instead gain a temporary promotion.
“I’m really happy. I have been waiting for this opportunity for many years and finally my dream comes true this weekend. First of all I want to say big thanks to Avintia for allowing me to join the factory team, because without their support and all the sponsors behind the team this wouldn’t be possible. Right now I feel excited, motivated and eager to get the best possible result.
“But until I jump on the bike tomorrow, I keep scratching myself because it’s so hard to believe. Today I did interviews and this kind of the things like a factory rider, but I still feel like a child on Christmas day and it takes time to realise that it is the reality and not only a dream. I’m sure this will be a special weekend and I will do everything in my power to justify Ducati’s faith in me with a good result”.
He’ll be replaced in turn by Australian Superbike champion Mike Jones on the Avintia bike alongside Loris Baz. A regular in the Aussie championship and the 2016 title winner, he also rode to points as a wildcard at this years season-opening Phillip Island round of World Superbikes.
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