As had been rumoured before the Czech Republic Grand Prix weekend, Hector Barbera will graduate to the MotoGP class with the new Aspar Ducati team in 2010.
Barbera currently competes against Aspar in the 250cc class for the Pepe World Aprilia outfit, but with Aspar's own 250GP star Alvaro Bautista signing for Suzuki the Spanish team has turned to Barbera to steer its Ducati Desmosedici GP10.
“This is excellent news for us, to be reunited with Héctor Barberá after so many years. We won the Spanish championship together and grands prix in 125cc and I'm sure this will be another great project,” declared team owner Jorge Martinez 'Aspar'.
“We hope for good results next year and we want this to be a long term agreement. Hopefully Héctor can earn factory machinery with his results. For our team it is a dream to be competing in all three world championship categories.”
Barbera is fourth in the 250cc world championship, with three podiums, including one win. This year is Barbera's fifth in the quarter-litre class. His best full season to date was in 2007, when he finished fifth in the final standings. The Spaniard also spent three years in the 125cc class, finishing second in 2004.
“To race in MotoGP is every rider's dream,” said Barbera. “The Ducati is a very competitive motorcycle - it won the world championship two years ago - so I hope to do well. My first aim will be to adapt to the team and motorcycle as quickly as possible, but for now I am concentrating on my final six races in 250cc.”
Barbera's deal means that at least three 250cc riders will move to MotoGP next season - reigning world champion Marco Simoncelli having already signed a Gresini Honda contract.
Hiroshi Aoyama, leading the championship by 12 points from Bautista, is also expected to find a premier-class seat, almost certainly with Honda.