Hector Barbera had not been looking forward to Le Mans. The Ducati driver would be operating the GP14.2, a vehicle known for its trouble at turns. The French track only seems to highlight these issues. Plus, ominous clouds seemed to loom above his chances as he struggled to qualify on Saturday and struck out at 13th place. The first corner pushed him all the way to 21st place, apparently sealing his doom. But the feisty Spaniard grabbed cruel fate in a chokehold and dragged it kicking and screaming to 12th place by Lap 10. He finished in 8th place overall and was the second fastest Ducati rider of the race.
“To be honest, I have to be happy with eighth place. Le Mans has always been a difficult track for me, basically because it features multiple changes of direction and as we could see at Austin, it’s hard to make this bike turn. But as I said, the position is good and we keep scoring points in every race. The race was really hard fought, and it was a shame losing the battle for seventh in the last lap. I had a contact at the beginning of the race and I moved back to the last place, so I had to recover lap to lap.
“There were many crashes and for sure that helped us today, but the track conditions were the same for everybody and I was more conservative and waited for my moment to attack. The team did a great job this weekend, we have been patient and we got the best possible result with our package. Overall I’m happy because we were able to fight during all the race.”
His spirit is pretty infectious. We always love a strategic fighter in any sport and Barbera brought his gladiator game to the fray this weekend. After this performance, we’re expecting great things from the man at Mugello.