Perhaps inspired by the expected announcement of a 2010 MotoGP ride, Hector Barbera has set the fastest lap time during Friday practice for the 250cc Czech Republic Grand Prix at Brno.
The Pepe World Aprilia pilot, who could be confirmed at the new Aspar Ducati MotoGP squad later today, took the top spot back from world championship leader Hiroshi Aoyama (Scot Honda) by 0.140sec on his last lap of the afternoon.
Third fastest Alex Debon was a distant 0.754sec from Barbera, with second in the championship Alvaro Bautista fourth for Aspar Aprilia. Bautista, who starts round ten 15 points behind Aoyama, continues to be linked with a 2010 Suzuki MotoGP seat.
Reigning champion and third in the 2009 points Marco Simoncelli was sixth.
Friday practice - Brno:
1. Barbera (Aprilia) 2min 2.371sec
2. Aoyama (Honda) +0.140sec
3. Debon (Aprilia) +0.754sec
4. Bautista (Aprilia) +0.759sec
5. Locatelli (Gilera) +1.056sec
6. Simoncelli (Gilera) +1.115sec
7. Pasini (Aprilia) +1.157sec
8. Luthi (Aprilia) +1.217sec
9. Abraham (Aprilia) +1.540sec
10. di Meglio (Aprilia) +1.552sec
23. Markham (Aprilia) +6.107sec